4 steps to fear-free practice visits

Conquer clients' fears at the veterinary practice with these communication tips.
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Feb 01, 2011

Fear makes veterinary visits miserable for both owner and pet. Conquer this hill of anxiety with these tips:

1. Find out a command the pet knows and write it in the record. Whether it's speak, dance, or lie down, ask the pet to perform and then reward it. Have lots of treats around and even consider heating up deli turkey or a bit of Vegemite for cats.

2. Use just one room for unpleasant tasks so the others can be spas. Only good things happen in your spa rooms, and there are no bad associations. Soon the pet will be dragging the owner into the exam room.

3. Get your clients to help you. We give a free bottle of D.A.P. to new puppy owners and Feliway to kitten owners. We tell them to make the carrier a part of their furniture so the pets are used to it.

4. Have the pet come to you. If you approach a pet, it feels fear, but if you get it to come the last 18 inches to you, pixie dust falls out of the ceiling.

Dr. Becker will discuss this topic in depth on May 7 at the CVC in Washington, D.C. Visit http://thecvc.com/ to register.