Minimizing Stress for Patients in the Veterinary Hospital: Why It Is Important and What Can Be Done About It
Minimizing stress for patients should always be a priority in the veterinary hospital. However, this is often overlooked. While a “no stress” environment is not possible, understanding how to create a “low stress” (sometimes called “fear-free”) environment and how to handle animals in a less stressful manner benefits patients, staff and the hospital alike. Many veterinary practitioners believe creating a low stress environment is too hard and too time consuming, but this need not be the case. With some simple approaches, minimizing patient, and hence staff, stress is achievable in all veterinary practices. This article provides a background on why minimizing stress is important and outlines some practical steps that can be taken by staff to minimize stress for presenting and hospitalized patients. Useful resources on recognizing signs of stress in dogs and cats, handling, restraint, behaviour modification, medications, and hospital design are provided.
Lloyd, J.F.K. (2017). Minimising Stress for Patients in the Veterinary Hospital: Why It Is Important and What Can Be Done about It. Veterinary Science, 4(2), 22. https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4020022View Resource
Topic(s): Behavior, Breeder Resource, Dog to People - Low Stress Handling, Social Interactions