Cat wrapped in a blanket: Cat Friendly in Melrose
Puppy: Cat Friendly and Fear Free in Melrose

Reducing Fear, Anxiety, and Stress for Cats and Dogs

At Melrose Animal Clinic, we recognize that bringing your pet to visit us can cause FAS (fear, anxiety, and stress), and FAS affects not only our furry patients but their human parents as well. When our patients are fearful, stressed, or anxious, our ability to fully examine, and thus help them, is compromised. That’s why we’ve sought accreditation as a Cat Friendly Practice from the American Association of Feline Practitioners as well as implemented fear-free techniques to reduce FAS in our clinic. Your cat’s and dog’s comfort are our top priorities.

Experience a stress-free veterinary visit.

Creating a Stress-Free Visit

Cats, dogs, and their owners come to us to experience a better veterinary visit with less stress and more personalized care. As a Cat Friendly Practice, we make specific adjustments to our environment and care protocols to suit your cat’s needs. Additionally, as a practice committed to a fear-free experience for all pets, we take multiple steps to reduce fear, anxiety, and stress for everyone. These steps include:

  • Applying special animal pheromone (a kind of hormone) sprays to the inside surfaces of our practice, which helps calm your pet when they arrive
  • Getting down on their level and approaching them calmly so as not to incite or increase fear
  • Feeding treats to help them relax and preoccupy their minds with something pleasant
  • Having “cats only” appointment block next door in our Annex, so cats are not stressed by the presence of unfamiliar dog sounds and smells
  • Staff education to be more in tune with your cat’s emotional well-being
Dog lying down: Cat Friendly and Fear Free in Melrose

A Little Something Extra for Overly Anxious Pets

For cats or dogs who are particularly nervous about their veterinary visits, we can offer a little “something extra” to help them relax and allow us to thoroughly examine them. These anti-anxiety medications are given by mouth the night before their visit, and then again a couple of hours prior to their appointment. They are very safe, inexpensive, and make a huge difference by making their visit easier and less stressful for both them and you. Ask us for more information if you think your pet would benefit.

Preparation for the Journey

It’s likely that your cat’s or dog’s stress doesn’t start and end in the clinic. Most cats and dogs become anxious and fearful while still at home. Getting cats in their carrier can be quite the event for both pet and owner, while dogs are sometimes reluctant about car rides. Luckily, we can offer some tips for relieving stress at home, including:

  • Taking your cat’s carrier out a few days before the visit, or leaving it out all the time if possible. This helps your cat get comfortable with it on their own and not only associate it with vet visits. Lining it with soft blankets and hiding a treat or two in there can be helpful, too!
  • When it’s time to go to the vet, give you and your pet plenty of time to get ready. If possible, allow your cat or dog to go into their carrier or the car on their own, then shut the door gently behind them.
  • Carry your cat’s carrier like the precious cargo it is. Hold it from the bottom with one side pressed to your chest. This eliminates any rocking of the carrier that can make your cat or small dog feel fearful and insecure.
  • Cover the carrier with a towel before entering the practice. This keeps them from catching sight of any unfamiliar animals that could aggravate them.
  • If your dog is nervous around other dogs, take a walk around the block if you arrive early. We’ll be sure to let you know when your exam room is ready for you.

Once you’re called into the exam room, we take it from there. We’ll give your cat or dog plenty of time to get familiar with us and their new surroundings before attempting to perform any services on them.

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