Going to the vet can be stressful for pets. Patient stress can make it difficult to diagnose and treat our furry friends and can cause additional stress and safety concerns for team members. This is why South Park Animal Hospital has been asking, “what more can we do to reduce patient stress?” since our hospital’s inception almost 7 years ago. We take a balanced approach as we understand we cannot completely eliminate stress for all patients. We are continually looking for new ideas and assessing our protocols and environments to achieve an optimal experience for both pets and their people.
Here are a few ways we achieve this:
Training: Our associate veterinarians complete Fear Free Certification during regularly scheduled hours when there is down time. Fear Free Certification is funded by Vets Heart Pets for every support team member in the hospital. Team members learn low-stress restraint techniques, animal behavior cues, and are trained to assess and apply the appropriate amount of restraint.
Environment: South Park Animal Hospital was designed to provide a low-stress experience for all patients. Felines wait, are examined, treated, and housed in a separate wing of the hospital. The exam room experience for both canines and felines places an intentional focus on creating the right environment for each patient. Patients are checked out in the exam room when possible to avoid the stress of interacting with other patients. Pheromones assist in creating our low-stress environments.
Tools: A variety of treat and toy options in each room provides distraction and positive reinforcement for patients during acclimation and treatments. Towel warmers provide our feline friends with soothing warmth. Soft mats are provided for patient comfort on exam tables. We offer plenty of other low-stress amenities!