One thing that sets Dunwoody Animal Medical Center apart is our low stress approach to veterinary care. It’s no secret that a visit to the veterinarian is a source of stress and fear for many dogs and cats. Our team is committed to embrace a new approach for patient contact in the veterinary hospital. Our patients are benefiting from the effort, and our clients are amazed at the change in their pets’ demeanor and comfort using these techniques.
What are some of the ways Dunwoody Animal Medical Center has incorporated these techniques?
- Taking the time - Before engaging your pet, we will engage you and will have a conversation about your pet's health. This gives them time to get used to us, and lets them see that we are on friendly terms with you. When they are ready to greet us, we'll be ready to greet them.
- Design - All of our exam tables feature a blue (a color animals see well) non-slip padded topper that provides a warmer, more comfortable tactile sensation as well as a greater sense of safety and control for our patients. Our lift exam tables go all the way to the ground so dogs don’t have to be picked up and placed on the table. Textured yet seamless floors to help pets gain traction when walking on it, keeps older dogs or dogs with mobility issues from splaying out on floors
- Treats! Treats! Treats! - Each of our exam rooms are stocked with a variety of dog-specific and cat-specific yummy treats which can be used for distraction, redirection, counterconditioning, and reward techniques.
- Awareness - Our employees are trained to spot and care for dogs or cats who are exhibiting signs of stress and how to mitigate that stress with low stress handling techniques and positive reinforcement.
What can the pet parent do to help create a fun positive experience at the vet?
- Treats! - Bringing your pet’s favorite treats to the visit can go a long way towards easing their anxiety and fear of the vet. It’s easier to ignore the veterinarian who is performing a gentle respectful exam if you’re getting yummy treats the whole time.
- Carrier training - For cats and small dogs who come to see us in carriers, the carrier, itself, can be a trigger. One of the most powerful ways pet parents can reduce this stress buildup is to teach their cats and small dogs to love their carriers. Leave the carrier out and place bedding, treats and toys inside, well in advance of a scheduled visit, so that when the time comes to head to the veterinarian, they will already have a positive association with the carrier.
- Fun visits - We always welcome and recommend bringing your pet in for a friendly visit when they do not actually need any medical attention. We always stock yummy treats and chews at the front desk. We’ve found that if they’re used to coming in for a treat and a belly rub, then they won’t mind coming in for veterinary care either.
- Supplements & medication - If your pet needs a little “extra” help, we stock a variety of calming aids from holistic and herbal and supplements to anxiety medication to diffuse stress. For best results, start using these daily in the days leading up to an appointment and then the day of, give a double dose.
- Breathe - Our pets are tuned into our emotional states, and when we are upset, they will be too. Try to relax, breathe deeply and remain as calm as possible. Your friend will see how relaxed you are and be more inclined to follow suit.
All of these techniques help us try to create a positive veterinary experience for your pet! Please feel free to call anytime to set up an appointment at Dunwoody Animal Medical Center.