Mobile vet for 'Fear-free' pet care?
Is mobile Veterinary behaviour the answer to lowering your pet's stress?
Going to the vet is stressful
We know responsible pet-owners and pet parents want the best in veterinary care for their pets. Not just their physical health, but mental health too.
The 'Five Freedoms', a bare minimum set of standards by which all our animals should be kept, states that an animal has the right to “freedom from hunger & thirst, discomfort (pain), disease, fear/distress and the right to express normal behaviour”.
But while we are getting better practiced at providing 4 out of the Five Freedoms, protecting our pets from emotional distress is a fairly new topic to the general public. Pet parents are asking the question "How do I know if my pet is happy?", as well as recognising that traditional methods of routine health care can be stressing their pet out. How do you balance physical and mental health needs when they seem at odds?
Read on to find out how our mobile Fear Free veterinary services can help you answer that question.
Do you know if your vet is qualified in assessing and supporting your pet's mental health?
What if I told you that it is possible for your pet to receive the best veterinary care AND not be stressed at the vet?
For Fear Free GPs and vets that have completed further studies in Veterinary Behaviour to obtain their MANZCVS qualifications, this is the case. It IS possible for your pet to have the most up-to-date health care in a low stress environment. Although very few veterinary schools include Veterinary Behaviour as a part of their curriculum, more and more vets are turning to post-graduate studies in behaviour to fill the gap in their knowledge about pet mental health. But there are still too few of us.
Vet clinics are scary!
Not only can the trip to the vet clinic be stressful, but it's a whole other level for your pet when they are there. If we look at it from their perspective, there is
Unfamiliar / noxious smells - dogs and cats' sense of smell is up to 13 times stronger than ours! Therefore their sense of smell is a very important way of collecting information. Vet clinics are a hot bed of anxious pheromones from previous animals, indicating to your pet a threat is present, not to mention the actual smell of other pets (past and present). Not only are there often the smell of urine, faeces and other bodily fluids offending your pets' nose, but also the air fresheners and detergents often used to clean up and disinfect the environment.
Unfamiliar sights - being in a new or infrequently visited location is hard enough, but add in the likely negative past experience they associate with that place, and already they're frightened and stressed. Additionally, it takes time and patience to gain a pets' trust, and many clinics simply don't have the time. Your pet remembers this.
Scary sounds - caged dogs barking, stressed cats mewing and the hustle and bustle of veterinary clinics including noisy dental tools and mechanical clippers, and your pet is hearing the fear message loud and clear
Offending taste - yes, even your pets' sense of taste can be negative as unpleasant tasting medicines and anti-parasitacides are often given at the vet clinic
Awful feels - when your pet feels unwell or in pain, where do you take them to? Pets can remember and associate their feeling sick with a vet clinic quite readily, especially if they've had a stay in hospital. Even just a day stay is enough to put your pet off for life.
Enter mobile Fear Free Vet services.
While your pet may initially be wary with us, with specialised techniques and a gentle, considerate approach, we take the time to give your pet the opportunity to trust our team. By making our services mobile, your pet gets to stay in the comfort and security of their own home, preventing massive levels of FAS associated with travel and the vet clinic before the consultation has started.
Sometimes, if your pet has been particularly stressed at the clinic or had a forceful handling experience, anxiety medication or sedation may be required to administer best care and help them cope.
What is Fear Free?
Fear Free is the commitment to you and your pet that we
understand that physical and mental health are intertwined, and true health cannot be achieved if either is imbalanced.
have learned to recognise even the subtle signs of Fear, Anxiety and Stress (FAS) in your pet
will use our skills, including considerate approach, gentle control, touch gradient and other techniques, to prevent FAS in the first place
respond immediately to the first signs of FAS with recommended actions in the professional development courses & study we have learned
will continue to educate ourselves and keep up to date in the latest Fear Free techniques, and seek always to elevate our understanding of the prevention & relief of FAS
will actively read and remain current in research related to pets' emotional wellbeing, including its intimate relationship with physical wellbeing and the practice of excellent veterinary medicine
encourage our colleagues to adopt the Fear Free approach in order to relieve and prevent the suffering of animals under our care
recognise that Fear Free is whole lifestyle approach, not just in the veterinary clinic, but at home, in the car, and places of professional service such as daycare, grooming facilities or training.
will share our expertise and recommendations with pet parents and other pet professionals to enable them to prevent & relieve FAS, improving the wellbeing of pets in every moment of their lives, not just while they are under our care
If you want the latest in understanding of low stress, Fear Free mobile vet & behaviour services, enquire with us today.