We truly never get tired of hearing people say with surprise how much their dog LOVES coming to see us! And that the dog excitedly pulls them in our door. Especially the post-surgical visits, where it might be expected that what the dog had gone through would make them not want to come back - but the opposite ends up being true. We take advantage of surgery day as a an opportunity to pamper and comfort them. All of the love and attention makes the day away from home much easier and reduces stress (for them as well as us!). What could be better?
But not every dog loves us, either because they have had a bad experience with us or with another clinic, or perhaps not enough experience at all. Because it is important that all dogs be examined at least once yearly, more often if they are sick, and because a dog that does not permit a thorough exam may have diseases that go undiagnosed (and therefore untreated) which will reduce life expectancy and quality of life, we work very hard at making all dogs as comfortable as possible with us. We know that most dogs who act aggressively do so out of fear - if the fear can be overcome, they will feel more confident and therefore more comfortable. We have many ways to achieve convince anxious dogs to let us examine them, here are a few examples of what we do:
- We use soothing pheromones that instill a sense of calmness.
- We offer delicious treats (you may want to bring your dog slightly hungry).
- We may have the dog enter the room after we are already in there (less scary for the dog than us coming in to "their" space).
- Sometimes we have you lift your dog and hand him/her to us, instead of us reaching for him (again, less scary for the dog).
- We use Elizabethan collars instead of muzzles whenever possible.
- When a fearful dog requires treatment around the head, we may use a muzzle upside down to cover their eyes (as well as prevent a bite), because sometimes the problem is just simply over-stimulation (out of sight, out of mind).
- We offer sedation when necessary, sometimes a pill given at home a few hours before the visit is all that is needed.
- When a dog who is fearful of being caged has to stay with us, we may set them up in an exam room or in the company of our receptionist (safely contained of course) instead.
- We play classical music.
- Our hospital is located in a park, with plenty of grass and trees to sniff and enjoy before and after the visit.
- We have plenty of large windows to let in natural light which is better for a dog's (and person's) well-being than artificial light.
- And much, much more.
We understand that each pet and each situation is unique, some days may be better than others, and we adapt to whatever comes our way - there is no "one-size fits all" approach here - and we will never deny any pet veterinary care due to aggression. Mostly, we hope you will both have a pleasant experience with us!