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Posted on 07-17-2017
My name is Susan and I currently am the practice manager for Vale Park Animal Hospital. I started with the practice in July of 2000 and have served the hospital in a variety of roles. I am the type of person that believes that there is always more to learn or a way to do something better. Currently the doctors, staff and management have been learning about Fear Free techniques which help reduce the amount of fear, anxiety and stress the patients sometimes experience when coming to the vet.
When I was a receptionist I remember cancelling many feline appointments because our clients could not catch their cats or get them loaded into a carrier. One of the things I have learned in my fear free training is our pets can start to experience stress the moment they see their carrier. Over this next month I will be taking you through my journey of making the carrier a pleasant experience for my cat Simba.
So where shall I begin? I have to admit, the carrier I was using was not the best choice for my cat. It was one of those designer types. It had two zip open doors on each side and was equipped with a luggage handle and wheels, just like a rolling piece of luggage. I had no idea that my cat would not enjoy being wheeled around not to mention the carrier was just large enough for my cat to be in a position where I could not reach him to get him out. I would have to unzip both sides and either push him out or tip the carrier vertically and let gravity assist with the process of removing Simba. Simba has heath conditions that cause us to make frequent trips to the vet. It did not take him long to associate the carrier with unpleasant things and my choice of transport certainly was not helping.
In the Fear Free training program the carriers which they recommend are the ones that are plastic with a metal door that opens from the front and top of the carrier. Also the carrier should have the latches that allow for easy removal of the top half of the crate. Petmate deluxe kennel is one brand that works very well. You can log on to www.petmate.com for more information. We are also trying to work with local pet stores to see if we can encourage them to offer these type of carriers for clients to purchase.
Simba enjoying his blanket.
After watching several of the modules of the Fear Free training I decided I was going to start from scratch with Simba and see if I could make his trips to the vet a more enjoyable experience.
Step one I needed to purchase the right type of carrier. I ordered one from Amazon which should arrive in a couple of days. In my next post I shall have some pictures of our new carrier for you. We will then explore several ways to help your cat learn to love their carrier.
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