Every year, thousands of dogs and cats are relinquished to animal shelters for behavior issues. As veterinary professionals, we feel it is both our responsibility and our privilege to do anything possible to not only lower that number, but also increase the number of harmonious households with healthy and happy human-animal bonds. Our goal is to share our observations, knowledge, experiences, and any resources we have to prevent undesirable behaviors from developing or escalating through behavior modification.
We thoroughly understand the desire and necessity to have our pets fit harmoniously into our established households. Though they are domesticated, pets are still animals with their ancestries tracing back to the wild natural world with its own set of behavioral rules. When we compel these animals to live in our world, it is truly abnormal for them. They must adapt to our standards, and when they do not, for whatever reason, this may produce a poor human-animal bond. Behaviors such as persistent attention-seeking or inappropriate urination can lead a family to relinquish a pet to a shelter or pet rescue, costing a pet his or her forever home. Furthermore, overly defensive or aggressive behaviors create dangerous situations in which people or other pets can be seriously injured.
Victory Visits are meant to reduce the amount of fear and stress in an animal when they come into a veterinary office and ensure they feel comfortable in an exam room.
Recommendations for your pet vary upon doctor's behavioral examination. Each session of a Victory Visit will be 30 minutes in length.
The location and costs of visits include:
Office visit: $30 OR During daycare visit: $30 (with daycare discounted to $20)
Your pet can benefit from a Victory Visit for the following reasons:
- Exam room management (medical services, weight, vitals, etc)
- Fear free handling
- Desensitization (grooming, nail care, hygiene, etc)
- Behavior training
Sit (to increase focus on handler and/or owner)
Stay (to allow handling, physical examination)
Hold paw (exam, nail trim, hygiene)
Hold paw with rubbing paw (for blood draw, nail trim, hygiene, exam, catheter placement)
Step up (weigh scale, exam table)
Lay down (exam, medication, vitals, grooming)
Lay down with belly rubs (exam, vitals, blood draws, medication, grooming)
Full body rub down (exam, grooming, medication/vaccinations)
Lifting lips (hygiene, dental care, exam, medication)
Lifting lips with rubbing gums (hygiene, dental care, exam, medication)
Rubbing ears (exam, hygiene, medication)
Leave it (avoidance of unsafe foreign objects)
For further information or to schedule your Victory Visit, please contact our office at 703-723-1017!
We encourage you to contact us to schedule an appointment during which you and a doctor can discuss the route that may work best for your family and pet. This is just the beginning; behavioral training/modification is an ongoing process--for both pet and pet owner. We’ll be on your team each step of the way as an advocate for your lifetime bond with your pet!
Check out these videos for a look at behavioral training examples here at Stream Valley!
We are proud to be Fear Free Certified
Here at Stream Valley Veterinary Hospital we strive to make you and your pet feel welcome and comfortable every time you step through our doors. After troublesome experiences, such as fear-induced anxiety or protective-instinct stress, your pet can become timid at the veterinary hospital. Our goal as a team at Stream Valley Veterinary Hospital is to make each trip to the veterinarian as stress free as possible.
During an exam, the veterinarian will need to be able to exam everything from your pet's ears to his tail. The doctor will open your pet’s mouth, look in his ears, listen to his heart rate, and take his temperature. Further services that your pet may need during a visit are nail trims and vaccines. Your pet should be comfortable with receiving a slight pinch and having someone hold his paw. This accepting behavior isn’t something that will happen overnight; it takes time, correct training, and patience to get your pet comfortable with a visit to the veterinary hospital.
Below are some of our recommendations for training your dog to respond well at our hospital, and hopefully avoid any unnecessary fearful behavior.
The first step to perfecting your pet's behavior is train him to sit:
Start by getting your pet's attention: use his name in combination with a treat. Use the treat with the verbal command "sit." Place the treat in front of your pet’s nose and slowly use it to gently push your pet away from you and his tail to the ground. Once your pet has mastered a strong sit, you may move onto the next training step.
Take as much time as you and your pet need to complete each step. Strive for 5 minute sessions with breaks in between, most likely over several days--or even weeks! Again, patience is key!
Other training tools you can use are “Gentle Leaders,” “Easy Walk” harnesses, and training clickers. You can use these tools along with your Fear-Free Training to help training be as stress-free as possible. Be sure to always have treats on hand and use a soft but stern voice throughout your training. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at 703-723-1017; we’re here to help! Remember, this isn’t something that can be perfected overnight. It takes time and patience in order for your pet to feel safe and at home with us. We look forward to the day where your pet is fear-free at our practice!
For additional information, please visit the website https://fearfreehappyhomes.com