Sometimes the ability to give permission to begin an uncomfortable procedure makes all the difference in one’s attitude. When I get into the dentist’s or eye doctor’s chair on my own, I’m giving them permission to do intrusive things to me. I would feel very different about going there if stepping into the office meant that a couple of strong people would force me into the chair and hold me down for the duration!
The same principle applies to dogs and cats. Pets can cooperate in their care. When they voluntarily get into position you can apply eye ointment, care for their toenails and give injections unassisted. They develop confidence when they have a way to say “I’m ready.”
Here are two examples:
1. Juni rests her chin on my hand to say she's ready for eye ointment:
2. Juni rests her chin on my lap to say she's ready for an allergy injection (note that we warm up with a pretend injection with cap on before the real thing):
Nearly every pet will need some kind of annoying or uncomfortable care during their lifetime. When they are cooperative their quality of life is improved and so is yours. Consent behaviors are best taught well before you need them. If you'd like to prepare your pet for a lifetime of minimally stressful care, we're happy to help! You may click the button below for more information.