Fear Free tip: Getting a pet to the veterinarian
Mikkel Becker, CPDT, recommends teaching pet owners these tips to prepare their pets for a Fear Free veterinary visit:
> Crates for cats need a removable top. In traditional crates, fearful and hesitant cats may need to be pulled out for an exam, while top removal kennels allow the veterinarian to perform the exam with the cat remaining in the base of the carrier.
> Get pets used to carriers before the veterinary visit. Feed the animal meals or stuffed food puzzles and chews in the crate and drop in treats randomly to encourage pets to spend time in the kennel and to make it “fun furniture” rather than a torture device.
> During car rides, use a commercial product or a rolled towel underneath the crate to prop it up and keep it evenly centered rather than tipped with the slant in the seat.
> For cats, cover the carrier with a sheet or light towel to reduce fearful visuals and frightening stimuli, such as dogs. Also avoid swinging the carrier. Instead, hold the carrier in both hands, like a breakable Christmas present, to keep the cat or small dog steady in the carrier.
And don’t forget to check out dvm360.com/FearFree for more great tips and tools to prepare your practice to become Fear Free.