De-stress your fraidy cats
With a few simple steps, you can ease pets' anxiety and turn a stressful visit into a pleasant experience for everyone, says Kathy Coffman, a veterinary assistant and rehabilitation specialist at Veterinary Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Group in Ellicott City, Md., and the 2007 Firstline MVP, sponsored by Virbac's C.E.T. University. Coffman, a certified canine rehabilitation technician and certified canine massage therapist, offers these tips to help calm your nervous Nellies.
1. Minimize stressors
2. Channel your inner Buddha
However, if Nellie's protective of her owner, even meditation may not help. Try to remove the source of distraction by politely asking Ms. Hooversabout to hand over her precious pooch and wait in the reception area.
3. Appeal to the pet
Coffman also suggests conducting the exam on the floor, using the waiting room throw rug for pets to stand on. If you're using a stainless steel table, lay a towel down first.
4. End on a good note
Coffman keeps a variety of high-quality treats on hand to accommodate even the pickiest eaters. Dogs remember Coffman's yummy treats, often sprinting to the exam room at their next visit. Usually, her finicky feline patients take treats as well.
Nervous pets can disrupt the schedule—and the practice. But these small gestures will help you get the jump on pets' jitters and calm anxious pet parents, too.
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