Here at Lynwood Animal Hospital we pride ourselves on making the time spent by pets and their owner here as pleasant as possible. A big part of that is making it a fear free experience for your pet. This means free of fear, anxiety and stress. When fear, anxiety and stress arise, it can have a negative effect on the entire experience for you and your pet. It can also affect the human-animal bond and the emotional and physical well-being of your pet. How do we apply fear free standards at the veterinary hospital and at home?
The first step is to be aware of the signs of fear, anxiety and stress that our pets can show. Some signs are: avoiding eye contact, barking, licking lips, not taking treats etc. The second step is to correctly manage these signs if present or prevent them from developing. They can be addressed with some or all of the following steps: desensitization, training and medication. Depending on how severe the fear, anxiety and stress is will determine on how much will need to be done. Desensitization can be defined as the process of reducing sensitivity or reactivity toward stimuli through gradual controlled exposure. An example of this is if a dog is nervous about having his/her nails trimmed, treats are offered as we touch the paws and slowly work towards clipping a nail. Training is important because it can combine desensitization with positive reinforcement to help your pet overcome fear, anxiety and stress. Medication may be needed initially if your pet has severe fear, anxiety and stress. At Lynwood animal hospital we are working towards fear free certification to help prevent and treat fear, anxiety and stress in not just the veterinary setting but also in the lives of our beloved pets. For more great information on how to implement a fear free lifestyle in your home please visit https://fearfreehappyhomes.com. For further information on the certification we are working towards please visit https://fearfreepets.com.