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Practice Name

Alpine Animal Hospital

Primary Location
17776 Highway 82
Carbondale, CO 81623
Phone: (970) 963-2371
Fax: (970) 963-2372

Office Hours

DayHours
Monday8:00 AM5:00 PM
Tuesday8:00 AM5:00 PM
Wednesday8:00 AM5:00 PM
Thursday8:00 AM5:00 PM
Friday8:00 AM5:00 PM
Saturday8:00 AM2:00 PM
SundayClosed
Main Content

Desensitization

Teaching Your Dog Not to be Fearful of Procedures Necessary for Care

Desensitization is the process of teaching your pet that a specific stimulus (nail trim, ear cleaning, injection, etc.) is non-threatening over time, this process can be very rewarding with the desired end result, but can take a lot of patience and time to complete. If desensitization attempts happen too quickly, you can cause more aversion to the trigger, so it is important to move at the pace dictated by the pet.

 

In order for desensitization to work, you must first identify the trigger stimulus and a reward that your pet finds AMAZING. The reward has to overcome the trigger, so that they learn to expect the reward after allowing the trigger event to occur. For some dogs, the reward could be a yummy treat, like hot dogs or peanut butter. Other dogs are not as food motivated, so you have to be a little more creative and possibly use their favorite toy or petting. Either way, your dog must find the reward absolutely AMAZING!

 

After identifying the trigger and reward, you can start to get to work. For the first few sessions you may never actually complete the task, but the process will begin none-the-less. If your dog is sensitive to having his toe nails trimmed, the first few sessions should be focused on starting to touch your dog's feet by rewarding your dog when they allow you touch their neck, then shoulder, then gliding your hand down their leg, and very gradually working your way towards picking up their foot and touching their individual toes. From here you can slowly introduce the nail clipper again taking the time to reward every small allowance. If you reach a point where they begin to resist, this is where you go back to the step before until they allow you to move further. If you start to push them past their resistance point you can begin to make the experience negative, making it even more challenging in the future.

 

If you have any questions or would like assistance in formulating a desensitization plan for your pet, please call us to ask us about our new Victory Visits! These visits will help desensitize you pet to a range of events, from nail trims to subcutaneous injections for things like insulin, fluids, or joint supplements, or simply just a visit to the vet! Watch the video below and call us for an appointment 970-963-2371.

Preparing Your Dog to Visit the Vet

New Patients Welcome


Learn about Fear Free Visits to the Vet and the Certified Fear Free Professionals at Alpine Animal Hospital.


New Patient Welcome

Refer a friend or family member to our clinic and receive a $25 credit to your account and your friend will receive a $25 credit as well.

Sign up using the form below or call (970) 963-2371 to make an appointment.

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Featured Services

Services We strive to provide complete care for our patients. Learn more about all the services we provide. Make An Appointment Refer a friend or family member to our clinic and receive a $25 credit to your account and your friend will receive a $25 credit as well. Online Forms Our patient forms are available online so they can be completed in the convenience of your own home or office.

Office Hours

DayHours
Monday8:00 AM5:00 PM
Tuesday8:00 AM5:00 PM
Wednesday8:00 AM5:00 PM
Thursday8:00 AM5:00 PM
Friday8:00 AM5:00 PM
Saturday8:00 AM2:00 PM
SundayClosed
Day Hours
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
8:00 AM 8:00 AM 8:00 AM 8:00 AM 8:00 AM 8:00 AM Closed
5:00 PM 5:00 PM 5:00 PM 5:00 PM 5:00 PM 2:00 PM

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