Fear-Free tip: A little lovey goes a long way

Fear-Free tip: A little lovey goes a long way

Just because you recently gave up your teddy doesn’t mean your veterinary patients need to let go of their security item. (And if you still sleep with your blankie, don’t worry. We won’t judge.)

Looking for a way to baby your patients that doesn’t involve stuffing them with treats? Encourage pet owners to try a comfort item. Dogs and cats often have certain familiar items or types of items that provide comfort. 

This year my pug, Bruce, needed treatment for a thymoma at a specialty hospital in Seattle. The department we were in dealt mostly with special testing and surgeries where food is, for the most part, prohibited. 

This is where comfort items can provide some relief. Bruce had a stuffed horse with my daughter Reagan’s scent on it that traveled with him during his procedures, surgery and recovery. The item was useful as a toy reward, snuggle buddy and comforting companion while away from home. A dog or cat’s favorite toy or an item with their family or favorite animal companion’s scent takes the familiarity and comfort of home into the hospital.

Looking for toy recommendations? Here are a few for starters: 

> Scents of Security is a toy you can fill with articles containing the animal’s familiar scents.
> Snuggle Puppy has an automated heartbeat and warming packs.

Share your favorite items and tips in the comments below. Or send your tips and strategies to us at [email protected]. We’ll pay $50 for every tip we publish.