Separate vet waiting rooms for cats and dogs
3 April 2019, 14:18 | Updated: 3 April 2019, 15:46
Separate waiting rooms at the vets for cats and dogs could make visits less stressful for some pets according to animal science experts.
Hartpury University in Gloucestershire are also suggesting playing classical music could help some animals too.
The team at Hartpury are offering the new guidance after doing a survey of veterinary pratices in the UK and looking at research from around the world about the different approaches used by vets on animals.
Animal Science lecturer Aisling Carroll said: "A veterinary practice can be a stressful environment for pets and the stress that they experience can impact on their health, welfare and the likelihood of owners regularly visiting the practice.
"According to the latest report by the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals, there are around 9 million dogs and more than 11 million cats kept as pets in the UK, so we're talking about a significant number of animals.
"A range of methods are used by veterinary practices within the UK to attempt to reduce stress in animals during veterinary visits."
Animal Behaviour and Welfare lecturer Dr Tamara Montrose said:
"The majority of practices surveyed fed treats to animals during veterinary visits, offered rehearsal visits to animals and their owners, used appeasing pheromones in the practice and stated that they used correct handling techniques for different species during consultations.
"Most of the practices acknowledged that separate waiting rooms, rehearsal visits, treat feeding, appeasing pheromones, sensory enrichment and correct handling can reduce stress in animals during veterinary visits. However, the majority of practices surveyed did not have more than one waiting room or use an auditory device to try and reduce stress in animals during veterinary visits."
Dr Montrose said smaller vets that don't have room for separate waiting areas, could think about having appointments for cats and dogs at different times of the day:
"Greater consideration of methods to facilitate separation of species where distinct waiting rooms are not feasible, for example through implementing appointments for cats and dogs on different days and times, would be beneficial.
"In addition, veterinary staff should consider utilising classical or specially designed species-specific music in the veterinary practice as this may help mitigate the stress of cats and dogs visiting the practice."