Dogs Trust and the British Veterinary Behaviour Association (BVBA) have launched a Dog Friendly Clinic Scheme for practitioners to ensure that dogs and their owners have a positive experience when visiting clinics.
Many dogs find vet visits stressful, which can result in them being unwilling to enter clinics, being difficult to examine, and worried during treatment. The Dog Friendly Clinic scheme helps practice staff develop dog behaviour knowledge and skills so they can recognise and address early signs of anxiety and improve the welfare of dogs whilst in the clinic. This means improved safety for staff and customers and helps the client-clinic bond.
Through the scheme, created by the UK’s largest dog welfare charity with the BVBA, canine experts provide the tools for clinic staff to learn more about dog behaviour, including how pain and health conditions can be contributing factors to behaviour, and how to reduce the impact of visiting the vet for dogs.
Through the subscription service, available to all veterinary professionals, advice is provided on how to help dogs remain calm in clinics as well as guidance for dog owners on preparing their pets in advance. Benefits of the Dog Friendly Clinics membership include access to dog behaviour CPD, a certificate and badge to demonstrate a commitment to clients to improve the clinic experience for dogs.
Dr Rachel Casey, Director of Canine Behaviour and Research at Dogs Trust said:
“Veterinary care is an essential part of dogs’ lives, but some find visits to the vets stressful. We are very pleased to collaborate with the BVBA to create the Dog Friendly Clinic scheme to help veterinary practices embed the principles of behavioural medicine into clinic life.
“Vet clinics are at the forefront of recognising and preventing the development of problem behaviours in dogs, and this scheme will help them develop the skills and knowledge to optimise the wellbeing of the dogs in their care.”
Chris Laurence, Chair of BVBA said:
“Dog anxiety when visiting the vet can be traumatising for everyone involved and may even put off owners seeking veterinary help when needed. Encouraging welfare-friendly treatment of dogs in veterinary practices is one of our primary objectives so every additional practice means many more dogs will benefit.
“By joining our dog friendly community, veterinary practices are helping to ensure every dog has as positive an experience as possible within their clinic. “
To find out more about the Dog Friendly Clinic Scheme visit www.dogfriendlyclinic.org.uk