A popular animal hospital in Runcorn is barking up the right tree for its high-quality care for dogs.

Linnaeus-owned Northwest Veterinary Specialists (NWVS) has received Dog Friendly Clinic accreditation by Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity and the British Veterinary Behaviour Association (BVBA). 

NWVS has implemented several upgrades to achieve the coveted accreditation, including making changes to its current layout, moving equipment so dogs can feel as calm as possible and placing treats in all consult rooms, reception and wards to gain trust and reward patients.

Each patient has an individual hospitalisation sheet with likes and dislikes and an area for NWVS to assess fear, anxiety and stress using the FAS scale. 

Veterinary nurse Hannah Bennett has been instrumental in spearheading the changes, along with her colleagues Sarah Hardy and Lucy Wright.

Hannah said: “Clients may be anxious about leaving their pet with us. Knowing that we are dog-friendly and we will take the extra time to help their pet feel more comfortable will hopefully put them at ease. Patients will have a better experience with us striving to provide gold standard care.”

Further dog-friendly measures at NWVS include ensuring everyone in the practice has access to a link from the Dogs Trust to read up on canine behaviour and what they can do to make it a better experience for pets.

Dr Rachel Casey, Director of Strategy and Transformation at Dogs Trust, said: “Veterinary care is an essential part of dogs’ lives, but some find visits to the vets stressful. We are very pleased to collaborate with the BVBA to create the Dog Friendly Clinic scheme to help veterinary practices embed the principles of behavioural medicine into clinic life. 

“Vet clinics are at the forefront of recognising and preventing the development of problem behaviours in dogs, and this scheme will help them develop the skills and knowledge to optimise the wellbeing of the dogs in their care.” 

Chris Laurence, chair of BVBA, said: “Encouraging welfare-friendly treatment of dogs in veterinary practices is one of our primary objectives so every additional practice means many more dogs will benefit. 

“We’re delighted that Northwest Veterinary Specialists has joined our dog friendly community. By doing so, they are helping ensure every dog has as positive an experience as possible within their clinic.”

NWVS is one of the UK’s leading specialist-led animal hospitals. It offers care in anaesthesia and analgesia, diagnostic imaging, internal medicine, neurology and neurosurgery, oncology, orthopaedics and soft tissue surgery.

For more information on Northwest Veterinary Specialists, visit www.nwspecialists.com or search for Northwest Veterinary Specialists on social media.

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