August 02, 2016

Time to Take Care of Those Who Take Care of Us in Our Times of Need

Given the recent tragedies that have occurred across the globe and here at home, we need to take a step back and focus for a moment on family.
By Mike Hennessy, Sr.

Given the recent tragedies that have occurred across the globe and here at home, we need to take a step back and focus for a moment on family. For many of us, our families are the backbones of our lives, the people we turn to in times of need. Yet, it is all too easy to take our family members for granted, particularly the four-legged members. We’ve all heard too often, “It’s just a dog,” or “It’s just a cat;” however, in these volatile times of violence and unrest, many of us are turning to a pet for emotional support.

Research has shown that pets can provide comfort to individuals struggling with illnesses in the hospital and at home. Pets can provide not only emotional support, but also physical support as service animals for those with disabilities and some diseases. In addition, some of these animals are serving on the front lines, in our military and other public service organizations, to help increase national security and keep us safe.

Our pets provide us with unconditional love and support, and we have a responsibility to ensure that we are doing our best to provide these animals with the high quality care they deserve.

In this issue of American Veterinarian, we examine how veterinarians are creating Fear FreeSM practices, an initiative designed to reduce anxiety in animals when they come into the veterinary office and increase their interest in going to the vet, in the first place. By promoting a calming environment and removing anxiety triggers for the animal, the veterinarian is able to complete a more thorough exam, making the visit a more rewarding experience for the vet, the client, and most importantly, the animal.

When vet visits are less anxiety-inducing, clients are more likely to bring their pet to be examined regularly, giving veterinarians the ability to provide better patient care to the animals and preemptively address issues before they get worse. As the companion animal industry continues to grow, and more and more individuals are turning to their pets for support, we need to ensure that we are providing them with the same quality of care that they give to us.



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