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Long before the fear free movement, Dr. Sophia Yin was practicing, teaching, and writing about stress less techniques, and early socialization of pups/kittens to all that life will present in sight, sounds, and smells.
At South Franklin Animal Hospital, we have always tried to maintain a calm, relaxed, odor-free, and loving environment. Now, through further education and certification, all staff members will be able to assist and educate our clients on more Fear Free Approach. Every experience your pet has at SFAH, we will try our hardest to make it a positive, happy, and highly rewarding. The overall key to this positive veterinary hospital experience is getting to know our individual pets/patients. At our hospital there is extra attention in notes on pets likes, dislikes, fears, anxieties, behavior concerns or needs, handling, motivation/rewards. Of course we also have prompts for diets, amounts, medications, supplements,... OUR GOAL IS TO GET TO KNOW, AND KNOW OUR PATIENTS THE BEST WE CAN TO ACCOMADATE AND BE PREPARED FOR THEM. THIS IS OUR DUTY AS YOUR VETERINARY TEAM!
South Franklin Animal Hospital understands if FEAR ANXIETY and STRESS is not addressed in our pets, it will always lead to unwanted behavior[s] and medical conditions. It has now been a proven fact that many of our pet's medical conditions come from fear, anxiety, and stress. Pancreatitis, IBD, Gastric ulcers/Gi upset, and many more diseases. Behaviors that come from fear, anxiety, and stress are barking, pacing, kennel issues, fear biting, destructive scratching, and house soiling. Fear, anxiety, and stress is known to cause premature greying around muzzle/face before 4 years of age in dogs.
"The #1 reason pet owners don't take pets to the vet is because of stress to the pet." When owners experience/feel their pet's stress, this increase anxiety/stress in the owners. This is a cycle of stress and anxiety all surrounding going to the animal hospital. We want to decrease/minimize FEAR, ANXIETY, and STRESS for your/our pets and our owners.
The Signs of Stress: Your pet is hiding. She's not napping, she scared!! Many signs of Fear, Anxiety, and Stress in pets are difficult to detect. Here are some of the most common signs that your pet might be feeling less than calm and content!! Tail down, Tucked tail, Closenss to you, climbing on you, panting, trembling, fidgeting, yawning, snarling, biting, piloerection/hair up, hypervigilance/looking around/paranoid, dilated pupils, turning away when you look at him, hiding, licking lips, avoiding team members.
FIVE ways you can help make the veterinary visit fear free for your pet:
1/Prep your pet-- positively accustom the pet to her carrier or restraint device and condition happy experiences in the vehicle
2/Limit food before the appointment unless medically contraindicated- a hungry pet will take treats that creates a positive association
3/Explore waiting room alternatives- work with us to determine optimal location to wait with your pet prior to care.
4/Be open to non traditional techniques-examine on floor, lap, using treats.
5/Consider proven, new, strategies to reduce fear/anxiety/stress in you pets-pre visit meds, sedatives, conditioning.