People often try to guess how much does pet health insurance cost. Medical and husbandry care is important for the health and well-being of our pets, however, often it’s very stressful for our pets and can be emotionally damaging. One simple foundation skill that we can teach our pets to make them more comfortable with care is a treatment station. A treatment station is different than “settle” on a mat or “go to your bed. ” It’s actually a place that we do handling and grooming care and medical care for them. But first, we have to teach them that this a great place to go. We need to create a positive emotional response to the treatment station in the area before we ever take it on the road and use it at the veterinary hospital or at the groomer’s where actual care is going to be occurring. There are different considerations you should take in mind when you’re setting up your pet’s treatment station.
One of the first ones is to find a great non-slip surface for your pet. Now this could be a yoga mat or a bath mat or a pet specific mat or a pet bed. You also want to think about where you’re going to set up your treatment area. This may be in the laundry room or a bedroom or a bathroom, even. So we want somewhere that’s really quiet and away from other animals that might be in the home. For small animals such as a cat or a small dog, you also want to think about getting on the same level with your dog. So we don’t want to lean over them or go into their space. Instead, what might be more comfortable for your animal is to be on an elevated surface such as a couch that they may be able to go on, a stool, or for a cat, a pouch that they’re already comfortable going to and we can have their treatment area station there.
We also want to pay attention to all of their senses. We can look at spritzing pheromones in the area10-15 minutes before we use it. We can also use calming scents such as diluted lavender and chamomile. Also, have you pet’s favorite treats nearby so you make it a really happy fun place that they really want to go to. And we can also think about having calming music in the area that evokes a sense of well-being for both the animal as well as for you. In training your pet to go to the treatment area station, the primary goal is to make it a big positive. We want to have lots of happy associations and really good things happen there. Here are some quick tips on how to do this: You could encourage your pet to follow you to the area. You may have some treats in hand to lure them onto the area or you may do a Hansel and Gretel-type treat trail leading to the area.
When they’re on their treatment area station, you can place treats directly on the mat and you can also feed out of your hands. Treat 10 times then go ahead and toss the treat off the mat and let them have the choice to come back or to have a break that they’d like. You want to be aware of your own body language when you’re in the treatment area station with your pet. So rather than looming or leaning over your pet, you want to be sure that you’re using inviting, calming body language with them and this may mean turning slightly to the side, rather than facing them directly. Also, you can think of other ways to make that treatment area station really positive for them. Think about different food puzzles and exploration toys that they can eat in that area.
So, you can feed them their routine meals or you can also give them some really special treats in that area. When we end their training session, we want to end it on a positive note. So this might be redirecting our pet to another activity. This could be a game of play or asking our pet to go outside or maybe doing a few other fun tricks that they enjoy doing. Let’s go! And when they’re done, make sure you pick up that mat area because we want it to always be thereto reinforce when they’re there so it’s always something really good that happens. As I mentioned earlier, the treatment station is different than “settle” on a mat.
We actually would prefer the animal to be in a standing position because it’s easier for the veterinarian to do a full exam or for the groomer to groom your pet if they’re standing. We could always cue or sit them down if we needed them in that position. Once your pet is happy about going to their treatment station, we’ll systematically start adding in grooming and husbandry care. You want to take your treatment station training on the road, go to different areas of the house, maybe even to the front yard out on the porch, go to the pet store or a variety of different locations before you start to use it in places such as the veterinary hospital or at the groomer’s. The treatment station will be the foundation for all husbandry and medical care for your pet.