Our team at Rio Vista is dedicated to giving your pets the care and treatment they need to help them live happy, healthy, and long lives. We are also dedicated to giving you, as the owner, the knowledge that you need to ensure your pet’s wellbeing. At Rio Vista, we make it a personal mission to ensure that every visit is as exciting, fun, or stress free as possible for your pet and for you. We want your pet to be excited to see us, not scared. This goal is accomplished by:

The Use of Pheromones

Dogs and cats have a very sensitive olfactory response, and we try to use that to our advantage. We may not smell the pheromones that are emitting through the hospital, but your pet definitely does. All of our exam rooms feature species specific plug in pheromone diffusers. Our canine exam rooms use Adaptil diffusers, and our feline exam room features a Feliway diffuser. We also use Feliway sprayed towels draped over carriers, and Adaptil bandannas for our more nervous dogs. When your cat rubs it’s face on your hand or a chair it is really marking that item as safe and secure – Feliway is a synthetic copy of that pheromone, making cats feel more at ease. Adaptil is the synthetic copy of the pheromone released by a canine mother that eases her young. Both of these pheromones have been shown to affect pets of all life stages, not just puppies or kittens. All of the pheromones used in our office are available for use at home or on your way to the hospital as well.

Bribes and Low Stress Handling

Fear and aggression are like a ladder: it is a lot easier for your pet to not climb up, than it is to come back down. In order to try to keep them on that bottom rung, we use bribes as distractions, and low stress handling techniques. If you have a particularly nervous pet, it can be helpful for them to be a little more hungry than normal, so feeding half of breakfast can make them more receptive to temptations of squeeze cheese, canned food, and baby food.

A nervous or aggressive dogs or cats can injure themselves or others in an attempt to get away from whatever they may be experiencing as the trigger. It is our job, as your pet’s health care provider, to help show your pet that there is nothing to be afraid of with common practices such as nail trims, blood draws, and ear cleaning and other bathing. For this reason, we also offer desensitization services.