Environmental methods used by veterinary centres to reduce stress of cats and dogs during practice visits

Taylor Williams, Aisling Carroll, V. Tamara Montrose

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article

Abstract

Background: The veterinary practice can be a stressful environment for pets. The stress animals experience when visiting the practice can impact on health, welfare and the likelihood of owners regularly visiting the practice. A number of different approaches have been suggested to be beneficial in reducing stress at the veterinary practice however the methods that practices use to try and reduce stress in animals during veterinary visits, and the reasons for the use of these approaches, has not been determined. Aim: The aim of this study was to determine what methods veterinary practices in the UK use to try to reduce stress in animals during veterinary visits, and gather the views of veterinary staff on the efficacy of these practices. Method: Veterinary practices in the UK (n=45) completed an online mixed methods questionnaire providing information on the practice's use of separate waiting rooms, treat feeding, rehearsal visits, correct handling of animals, appeasing pheromones and sensory enrichment. The reasons why these approaches were or were not used, and the participants' views on whether these practices reduced stress during veterinary visits were also determined. Results: The majority of practices surveyed fed treats to animals during veterinary visits, offered rehearsal visits to animals and their owners, used appeasing pheromones in the practice and stated that they used correct handling techniques for different species during consultations. In addition, the majority of practices surveyed did not have more than one waiting room or use a television or auditory device to try and reduce stress in animals during veterinary visits. The majority of participants believed that separate waiting rooms, rehearsal visits, treat feeding, appeasing pheromones, sensory enrichment and correct handling can reduce stress in animals during veterinary visits. Conclusion: A range of methods are used by veterinary practices within the UK to attempt to reduce stress in animals during veterinary visits. Greater consideration of methods to facilitate separation of species where distinct waiting rooms are not feasible, for example via implementing appointments for cats and dogs on different days and times, would be beneficial. In addition, veterinary staff should consider utilising classical or specially designed species-specific music in the veterinary practice as this may help mitigate the stress of cats and dogs visiting the practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-52
Number of pages6
JournalThe Veterinary Nurse
Volume10
Issue number1
Early online date26 Feb 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2019

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Cats
Dogs
Pheromones
Pets
Television
Music
Appointments and Schedules
Referral and Consultation
Equipment and Supplies
Health

Cite this

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title = "Environmental methods used by veterinary centres to reduce stress of cats and dogs during practice visits",
abstract = "Background: The veterinary practice can be a stressful environment for pets. The stress animals experience when visiting the practice can impact on health, welfare and the likelihood of owners regularly visiting the practice. A number of different approaches have been suggested to be beneficial in reducing stress at the veterinary practice however the methods that practices use to try and reduce stress in animals during veterinary visits, and the reasons for the use of these approaches, has not been determined. Aim: The aim of this study was to determine what methods veterinary practices in the UK use to try to reduce stress in animals during veterinary visits, and gather the views of veterinary staff on the efficacy of these practices. Method: Veterinary practices in the UK (n=45) completed an online mixed methods questionnaire providing information on the practice's use of separate waiting rooms, treat feeding, rehearsal visits, correct handling of animals, appeasing pheromones and sensory enrichment. The reasons why these approaches were or were not used, and the participants' views on whether these practices reduced stress during veterinary visits were also determined. Results: The majority of practices surveyed fed treats to animals during veterinary visits, offered rehearsal visits to animals and their owners, used appeasing pheromones in the practice and stated that they used correct handling techniques for different species during consultations. In addition, the majority of practices surveyed did not have more than one waiting room or use a television or auditory device to try and reduce stress in animals during veterinary visits. The majority of participants believed that separate waiting rooms, rehearsal visits, treat feeding, appeasing pheromones, sensory enrichment and correct handling can reduce stress in animals during veterinary visits. Conclusion: A range of methods are used by veterinary practices within the UK to attempt to reduce stress in animals during veterinary visits. Greater consideration of methods to facilitate separation of species where distinct waiting rooms are not feasible, for example via implementing appointments for cats and dogs on different days and times, would be beneficial. In addition, veterinary staff should consider utilising classical or specially designed species-specific music in the veterinary practice as this may help mitigate the stress of cats and dogs visiting the practice.",
author = "Taylor Williams and Aisling Carroll and Montrose, {V. Tamara}",
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Environmental methods used by veterinary centres to reduce stress of cats and dogs during practice visits. / Williams, Taylor; Carroll, Aisling; Montrose, V. Tamara.

In: The Veterinary Nurse, Vol. 10, No. 1, 26.02.2019, p. 47-52.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article

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AU - Carroll, Aisling

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N2 - Background: The veterinary practice can be a stressful environment for pets. The stress animals experience when visiting the practice can impact on health, welfare and the likelihood of owners regularly visiting the practice. A number of different approaches have been suggested to be beneficial in reducing stress at the veterinary practice however the methods that practices use to try and reduce stress in animals during veterinary visits, and the reasons for the use of these approaches, has not been determined. Aim: The aim of this study was to determine what methods veterinary practices in the UK use to try to reduce stress in animals during veterinary visits, and gather the views of veterinary staff on the efficacy of these practices. Method: Veterinary practices in the UK (n=45) completed an online mixed methods questionnaire providing information on the practice's use of separate waiting rooms, treat feeding, rehearsal visits, correct handling of animals, appeasing pheromones and sensory enrichment. The reasons why these approaches were or were not used, and the participants' views on whether these practices reduced stress during veterinary visits were also determined. Results: The majority of practices surveyed fed treats to animals during veterinary visits, offered rehearsal visits to animals and their owners, used appeasing pheromones in the practice and stated that they used correct handling techniques for different species during consultations. In addition, the majority of practices surveyed did not have more than one waiting room or use a television or auditory device to try and reduce stress in animals during veterinary visits. The majority of participants believed that separate waiting rooms, rehearsal visits, treat feeding, appeasing pheromones, sensory enrichment and correct handling can reduce stress in animals during veterinary visits. Conclusion: A range of methods are used by veterinary practices within the UK to attempt to reduce stress in animals during veterinary visits. Greater consideration of methods to facilitate separation of species where distinct waiting rooms are not feasible, for example via implementing appointments for cats and dogs on different days and times, would be beneficial. In addition, veterinary staff should consider utilising classical or specially designed species-specific music in the veterinary practice as this may help mitigate the stress of cats and dogs visiting the practice.

AB - Background: The veterinary practice can be a stressful environment for pets. The stress animals experience when visiting the practice can impact on health, welfare and the likelihood of owners regularly visiting the practice. A number of different approaches have been suggested to be beneficial in reducing stress at the veterinary practice however the methods that practices use to try and reduce stress in animals during veterinary visits, and the reasons for the use of these approaches, has not been determined. Aim: The aim of this study was to determine what methods veterinary practices in the UK use to try to reduce stress in animals during veterinary visits, and gather the views of veterinary staff on the efficacy of these practices. Method: Veterinary practices in the UK (n=45) completed an online mixed methods questionnaire providing information on the practice's use of separate waiting rooms, treat feeding, rehearsal visits, correct handling of animals, appeasing pheromones and sensory enrichment. The reasons why these approaches were or were not used, and the participants' views on whether these practices reduced stress during veterinary visits were also determined. Results: The majority of practices surveyed fed treats to animals during veterinary visits, offered rehearsal visits to animals and their owners, used appeasing pheromones in the practice and stated that they used correct handling techniques for different species during consultations. In addition, the majority of practices surveyed did not have more than one waiting room or use a television or auditory device to try and reduce stress in animals during veterinary visits. The majority of participants believed that separate waiting rooms, rehearsal visits, treat feeding, appeasing pheromones, sensory enrichment and correct handling can reduce stress in animals during veterinary visits. Conclusion: A range of methods are used by veterinary practices within the UK to attempt to reduce stress in animals during veterinary visits. Greater consideration of methods to facilitate separation of species where distinct waiting rooms are not feasible, for example via implementing appointments for cats and dogs on different days and times, would be beneficial. In addition, veterinary staff should consider utilising classical or specially designed species-specific music in the veterinary practice as this may help mitigate the stress of cats and dogs visiting the practice.

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JO - The Veterinary Nurse

JF - The Veterinary Nurse

SN - 2044-0065

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