Have you ever felt so terrified that you were going to die? I mean like hanging outside a window 30 stories high or held up at gun point. I suggest this is how a surprising number of our beloved pets feel when visiting the veterinarian. If your pet is perceived as uncomfortable, you will be too, and it’s one reason why veterinary visits are down.
Listen to my Steve Dale’s Pet World show on WGN Radio with Dr. Marty Becker—”America’s Veterinarian”— about an initiative called Fear Free. Dr. Becker says fear is not just something pets “get over,” as once thought. In fact, enough fear, over time, can cause permanent damage to the brain. Becker decided to do something about it, and it’s called Fear Free. This an effort to decrease fear, anxiety, and stress in pets during visits to the veterinarian, groomer, boarding facility, and more. Veterinarians currently take care of pets’ physical well-being, but Becker says emotional well-being is just as important.
Also, listen to Dr. Elizabeth Colleran speak about Cat Friendly Practices, which focuses on the emotional well-being of cats, an effort supported by the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP).
Dr. Colleran concedes the veterinary experience isn’t the best for most cats, so she says, “We’re changing that.” Cat health definitely benefits when cats see the veterinarian for preventive care, just as humans do. The big difference, though, is that we can tell others we’re not feeling well, while cats don’t do that. Cats are masters at masking illness.
Fear Free and Cat Friendly Practices are transformative.
Fear Free Happy Homes – learn what you can do.
Colleran talks about carrier training: Find more info on carrier training cats HERE.
Also on the show, I speak about how, because of the mild winter we enjoyed, ticks and tick disease could be at an all-time high this year.
I also mention a podcast I recorded about pucks and pups with legendary hockey broadcaster Doc Emrich.