Victory Visits are a tool to assist patients that are experiencing higher levels of stress, especially pets stressed, by specific activities or objects (e.g., physical examination, vaccination, blood collection, stethoscope, thermometer). Victory Visits are generally appropriate for patients with a stress level of 2 or greater. Victory Visits are also useful for clients who are highly motivated to minimize the use of manual restraint and wish to teach their pets to be active participants in their own care. During Victory Visits, the veterinary nurse uses desensitization techniques and counterconditioning to teach your pet how to anticipate veterinary procedures.
Victory Visits are a step beyond Happy Visits. Happy Visits help pets learn to anticipate a fun and treat in the veterinary hospital, while Victory Visits, which are held at a scheduled appointment time, prepare your pet for what used to previously be scary experiences more pleasant at our clinic and with our team members.
Victory Visits might include:
- Your pet comes into an examination room.
- Your pet moves onto a mat or the examination table.
- Your pet’s veterinary nurse performs short assessments.
Your pet becomes familiar with equipment such as stethoscopes, otoscopes, syringes, and swabs. When possible, the nurse will use this equipment on your pet.
Victory Visits do require an appointment with one of our nurses. You may call or text us at 509-462-7387 or click the button below.
Puppy Victory Visits
By the age of 6 months old, your puppy will have already gone through about 2 fear periods since you brought them home (breed dependent). You may notice that your previously confident, curious puppy is now showing hesitancy to approach new objects or people, barking, comfort-seeking, or hiding/retreating. These behaviors are more pronounced in puppies that are genetically cautious or fearful and puppies who were under-socialized, but even puppies who are happy-go-lucky will go through this stage as a normal part of development.
At Latah Creek Animal Hospital, we are committed to setting your puppy up for a lifetime of success. We schedule your puppy for two victory visits during their fear periods to help them create positive associations at our hospital at times when they are making core memories. During these visits, your puppy will not receive any vaccinations or procedures. These visits allow your puppy to get comfortable with being in the clinic and being handled by our team during a physical exam. Your first visit will be scheduled for 20 weeks of age. Most puppies are finished with their vaccination series by this age, so this allows them to have a last puppy visit during one of their fear periods without any vaccinations or procedures so that their last visit can be completely positive. It will also give you a chance to ask about any behavioral concerns as they enter adolescence.
The timing of the second visit will be personalized and will not occur at the same age for every puppy. If you spay or neuter your puppy, the best time to schedule this second visit is within a month after the procedure. Since the spay/neuter also occurs during the fear period for some dogs, this will allow your puppy to form another positive memory, and give you another chance to speak to a member of our behavioral team during the most challenging part of your puppy’s development. If you choose not to spay or neuter your puppy during this time, please let us know at your 20-week victory visit, and we can help you schedule a time for this second visit.