Everyone has owned, seen, or known of dogs that HATE coming to the vet. Dogs that must be dragged through the doorway and who spend the entire visit shaking like a leaf and hiding behind their owner. Some of these dogs become so fearful it turns into aggression – growling, biting or lunging when at the clinic. When a dog becomes fearful at the vet it is stressful for everyone. Owners hate watching their dogs suffer, the dogs are miserable and the veterinary staff has a much harder time caring for the patient.
This fear is the natural result of the dog’s negative association with their trip to a clinic. Most dogs only come to the clinic to have things done to them, such as vaccines and blood draws, or when they are sick. Over time, the dog begins to associate the vet clinic as a place where “Bad Things Happen” and as a result, become fearful. Thankfully, this is one problem that is extremely easy to prevent. To prevent a negative association all we have to do is create positive experiences instead of negative ones.
At our clinic in Freeport, we strive to practice Fear Free medicine. This means we take your pet’s mental state into consideration and practice medicine in a way that minimizes stress to the pets as much as possible.
As an owner, you can do your part by bringing your dog in for lots of Happy Visits.
Even though we do our best to make your dog’s routine and medical visits as painless and happy as possible, nothing beats a visit that is 100% fun – with no exam, vaccines or treatments at all! If we provide our dogs with as many completely fun visits as possible, their positive experiences at the clinic will outnumber the negative ones, and they will come to view the clinic as a fun place to be. We believe in the benefit of Happy Visits so strongly that we have incentivized them, for every Happy Visit you do, you will receive a $1 credit on your account. Use the Happy Visits to save up some money for veterinary care!
Happy visits are beneficial for dogs of all ages!
If you have an adolescent or adult dog who is fearful or stressed when she is at the hospital, happy visits can be a fantastic way to turn the process around! With very proactive and frequent happy visits, a dog that is nervous at the hospital can easily be turned into a dog who adores coming in! For puppies this process is especially helpful as regular happy visits will set your puppy up a lifetime of good feelings about the veterinarian. Puppies that are proactively handled this way grow up to be a joy to examine! These are the dogs that lie relaxed on the floor for their nail trims and snooze through their blood draws. No stress involved for owners, dogs or the veterinary team!
Happy visits are so easy to do!
Simply stop by with your dog and let your dog get lots of free attention and treats. We always have a wide variety of treats on hand ready for spoiling your dog! Your dog gets to come to the clinic and experience nothing but cuddles and treats – how great is that?
Happy visits can be a quick pop-in for a dog cookie in the waiting room, or a longer relaxed session in the exam room with a peanut butter stuffed Kong! Yum!
Hope to see you soon - Dr. Menolly Cote