Dogs stressed without owners in clinic

Asking pet owners to wait outside the veterinary clinic on visits during the pandemic might make dogs more stressed, say researchers at the Ontario Veterinary College.

Clinics have sought to protect the health and safety of veterinary staff as well as patients with entry restrictions.

The study found dogs separated from their owners during exams showed more physiological and behavioural signs of fear and stress than dogs with owners in the room.

Solutions? Hold the appointment outside, if possible. Clinics with large, well-ventilated exam rooms could also allow owners to remain in the room where the dog can see them, even if they can’t stand close by, said Dr. Lee Niel, Department of Population Medicine and the Col. K.L. Campbell Chair in Companion Animal Welfare.

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