Last week I told you that my dogs got into some medication and were hospitalized for 3 days. They are doing perfectly fine now. Being the client rather than the doctor made me think a lot about whether or not my dogs would be considered œgood patients. Dogs and cats who do not adapt well to the hospital environment do not heal as quickly. They refuse to eat and often develop symptoms associated with stress that can be very confusing for the doctors. Animals who do adapt well are those who easily make friends with the staff, can relax in unfamiliar surroundings and who do not depend on their owners or other household pets for emotional support. You can help your pets to be œgood patients by training them at home. Always crate train both dogs and cats. Even if you do not use a crate at home, they will be more comfortable in a cage environment at the vet clinic or boarding facility. Leave your pets with other people and alone as often as you need to in order to develop some independence. Start this when they are young. If you have multiple pets, especially dogs, be sure they spend plenty of time without their best friend. It is never good for a visit to the vet to be the first time a pet is without his family.
In some cases, pets just cannot be trained to be happy in a foreign situation. Please know that the staff at Animal Care Clinic is very aware of this and does everything possible to make our patients comfortable and relaxed. Come by and see our facility and the meet the staff sometime.
by Bonnie Markoff, DVM, ABVP