How Common Is Pet Anxiety?
Anxiety in pets, especially in new environments, is relatively common. Signs your pet may exhibit that indicate anxiety or stress are panting, yawning, drooling, vocalizations, avoiding eye contact, among others. In severely anxious or stressed pets, these signs may lead to hiding or aggression. By using fear free techniques to minimize fear, anxiety and stress and monitoring for triggers, we are better able to help your pet stay comfortable during their visit, and for future visits.
Weddington Animal Hospital uses fear free techniques to reduce stress in our canine and feline patients. At each visit, your pet may be asked if it is allowed to have treats, and be allowed a wide selection of treats – including peanut butter and squeeze cheese. For our feline friends, we have a selection of treats, canned food, and catnip spray.
Scents are an important component of minimizing stress in our patients. Animals, particularly cats, are extremely sensitive to smell – we strive to reduce odors that may be distracting to your pet and also utilize pheromone therapy with products that simulate maternal scents – such as Feliway for cats and Adaptil for dogs.
If your pet appears to be escalating in stress during a visit, or performing a procedure may be too stressful or uncomfortable for them, we may recommend medications to help your pet relax – whether they are given in hospital as injections, or by mouth at home.
Apply Fear Free Before Your Visit
The Fear Free approach is not limited to the time in the veterinary hospital – our fear free certified veterinarian may ask specific questions about your pet’s home environment and lifestyle to identify stress triggers. For cats, this may be the carrier – by making entering the carrier and the car ride a positive experience, the patient will be even more relaxed before the visit even begins.
If you have any specific concerns about your pet’s behavior at home or during their veterinary visit, please call or bring it up with your veterinary staff during the visit. If your pet has any particular food allergies, we welcome you to bring their favorite hypoallergenic treat or toy along to help them feel more comfortable.