Veterinary teams can use a few inexpensive silicone pot holders to distract canine patients, says Dr. Julie Reck.
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Frequent treat administration-or high-value, long-lasting treats-are a hallmark of the Fear Free experience in the veterinary exam room, and Julie Reck, DVM, shared a new idea for distributing peanut butter or other soft treats at a recent Fetch dvm360 conference.
Inexpensive silicone pot holders, or trivets, can be found online and often have a texture that's great for smearing soft treats on. You can drop it on the floor for the pet and then wash it after the appointment is finished. Often the pot holders come in multipacks, meaning they can be deployed during concurrent appointments for a minimal investment.
Bonus tip: Dr. Reck recommends using single-serving containers of peanut butter during exams. They may be a bit more expensive, but they're beneficial for three reasons:
1. They're quick and easy to open and administer, while being less messy-no sticking your hand down into the bottom of the jar and coming out with peanut butter on your hands.
2. You won't lose your client's attention if you accidentally double-dip into a standard multi-use container. Some clients are grossed out by a popsicle stick being licked by a pet and then put directly back into the peanut butter jar, Dr. Reck says. Then the client loses focus on what you're trying to tell them.
3. If you don't use the whole single-serving package during the appointment, you can send it home with the client as a bonus treat-something that will play a part in bonding them to your practice.