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Our Fear Free Commitment to You and Your Pet!

The Fear Freesm initiative focuses on creating a veterinary experience that keeps your pet in a calm and happy state of mind.  All of our staff at the Animal Hospital of Orleans are trained and certified in Fear Freesm protocols.  Making the veterinary experience the best it can be for you and your pet is both a passion and a goal of ours.

Common differences you will note at practices with Fear Freesm certified staff include the use of treats and praise throughout the visit.  If your pet has an allergy or food sensitivity, be sure to let us know ahead of time and bring along the high value treats you use at home.  Some pets respond better to toys, so feel free to bring your pet’s favorite toys so we can play and diffuse anxiety throughout the appointment.

If you have questions about helping your pet have a more Fear Free Veterinary Experience, please contact us!  Let us know if your pet has veterinary anxiety when you make your appointment.  We can’t do it alone. The Fear Freesm experience starts at home. 

Fear Free Cat Visits

Cats are notoriously stressed about coming in to see us; so many people just wait until their cat is sick before bringing them in.  But cats need wellness exams as much as, if not more than dogs, since they hide their illnesses until they are critical.

Here are some tips for getting cats into AHO with less stress for both of you:

          1.  Leave the cat carrier out for your cat to enjoy all of the time!

                The best kind of carrier to have is one that you can take the top off and has two doors, one in
                 the front and one on top. 

                Feed your cat in the carrier.

                Every day, put treats in the carrier for your cat to discover.

                Keep soft, clean bedding in the carrier.

                 Sometimes, cover the carrier with a towel.

                 Put a spritz of Feliway spray (mimics the feline facial pheromone used by cats to mark their
                 territory as safe and secure) in the carrier once a day. CLICK HERE FOR LINK

         2.  Wipe the carrier or spritz once with Feliway, 30 minutes before travel.

         3.  Always carry the carrier from underneath.  Never use the handle.  It is too rocking and swaying.

         4.  Cover the carrier while traveling.  Most cats would prefer not to see the world racing by while
                they are standing still.

         5.  Practice driving around the block or around town and ending up right back home!

         6.  Try to ensure that your pet is hungry when you arrive for their appointment (unless otherwise advised by a staff member). For instance, if their appointment is scheduled in the morning, wait to feed them their breakfast until afterwards. If they have an appointment later in the day, you could feed them half of their normal breakfast and save the rest for a later meal. This will help make the food rewards that we offer seem very enticing. Just like with people, food often tastes best when your pet is hungry.  

         7.  Bring your cat’s favorite treats with you.

                        Give a bite while in the carrier in the car.

                        Give a bite when you arrive in the Cat Only reception area. (Put your cat up on the
                         cabinet or in the seat, not on the floor.)
                       Give a bite when you settle into the Cat Only exam room.

                        Toss a few around the room to encourage exploration and natural hunting instincts – it   
                        let’s off some“steam”.

                        Save the rest for US!  This way, we will have more opportunity to give treats to help   
                        make the experience more pleasant.

            8.  Ask us for an anti-anxiety supplement like Zylkene (may be purchased through our online store.  CLICK HERE FOR LINK ) or prescription medication that can be given before the visit to help “take the edge off”.

           9.  Consider additional short-acting sedation in the hospital if needed.

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