Wednesday, Nov. 4th 2015

Fear-Free Practice, Holiday Hours, and Events

Holiday Hours:

CLOSED  for Thanksgiving mid-afternoon November 25 until re-opening on November 30, usual time.

CLOSED  for Christmas noon December 23-reopen noon December 29

CLOSED  for New Year’s 5 pm December 31 until 9 a.m. January 4


Have any of you been a bit frustrated when you’ve called to make an appointment to find we’ve closed early, or Dr Leonard is not available that day?  Or maybe you’ve found all our appointment slots for that day full?  We do apologize for any inconvenience, but would like to let you all know why this happens.  As a holistic practice, mental health is as important to us as physical health, both in our patients and ourselves.  As avid dog-show competitors, both Dr Leonard and Debbie occasionally take time off to spend quality time with their dogs, usually around weekend events.  We also both have families and like to spend time with them. Finally, in order to give your pet the time we feel it deserves, we schedule fairly generous appointment slots rather than rushing patients through.  This means we often fill quickly, especially in prime times such as late afternoon/evening Thursday, and on Mondays.  We try to keep a slot or two open as long as possible on those days, but they are often full by the day before.  If a certain day or time is important to you, we encourage you to book your appointment as far in advance as possible.  And we hope you’ll understand that in order for us to be relaxed, happy, and glad to see all our clients, we need time off, too!  Overworked means stressed, and stressed means unhappy.  Since we run this practice alone, we have to take that mental health time when we can.  Please be understanding and realize it’s what’s best for everyone.  If you have a minor emergency or concern, you can almost always reach us by calling the clinic number and Dr Leonard will respond as soon as possible to help you decide what, if any, immediate care is needed.  In a serious emergency, keep the local veterinary emergency hospital number in your phone as we will refer you to them anyway as we feel they offer the best care in a serious illness or injury.



Pet First Aid Kit seminar, 1 p.m. December 5.  There IS a cost for this seminar, which will include building your own pet first aid kit and instruction on the use of each item included.  We will provide all supplies and an instruction card, but ask that you bring the container you wish to keep the kit in.  We suggest something about the size of a cigar box or small shoe box, and it can be decorated however you like.  Need some gift ideas for the pet lover in your life?  How about a first aid kit?  Cost will be $25/kit.  Please call 816-331-1868  to register for this event so we can make sure to have enough supplies.

November 20 and December 18 Canine Massage by appointment.  Call to schedule your dog for an appointment with our Certified Canine Massage Therapist, Michelle Sickles.  Dogs love massage, and Michelle is great at helping them relax, relieve sore muscles, and move more smoothly. 

What is a Fear-Free Practice?

There is a movement afoot in the veterinary world called “Fear-free practice”.  As soon as the certification progress is finished being developed we plan to apply for this status, as we already do many of the items recommended.  What is a fear-free practice?  It is a practice dedicated to helping pet patients be comfortable, at ease, and relaxed during their visits.  How do practices achieve this?  By having separate waiting areas or appointment times for dogs and cats, using essential oils and pheromones to appeal to the senses of pets in a relaxing way, helping pet owners understand ways to train and condition their pets to make traveling to the vet less stressful, by letting the pet set the pace for the appointment by giving it time to relax and explore before being handled, keeping handling as low-stress as possible….In our eyes, it is basically letting the pet set the pace of their visit instead of insisting they conform to our schedule.

At Whole Health Pet Center, we use daily essential oil diffusion of blends known to promote relaxation.  We play soft background music utilizing brain-wave or relaxation themes.

We schedule long enough appointments that patients and clients do not feel rushed, and we allow time in the exam room for the pet to acclimatize before beginning the exam.  We offer treats to all pets in the exam room and after any procedures that are done. 

We try not to schedule sensitive pets close to the time other pets are entering or leaving the practice. As our clientele grows, we may start offering cat-only appointment blocks.

We offer advice on how to train or desensitize your pet to help make each visit better than the last.

We also make a point to keep all “unpleasant” procedures like needle sticks, toe nail trims, etc in the treatment room instead of the exam room so that our exam room remains a positive space.  This includes vaccinations or blood tests.  Owners are welcome to come to the treatment area with us, it’s not an attempt to hide what we do but instead keep the exam room a calming space.

We make an effort to keep our own energies and reactions calm, comforting, and supportive.

If a pet objects to restraint or a procedure, we do what we can to go slowly and we use muzzles or towel-wraps as needed to keep everyone calmer.  Then we will address training methods the owner can use before the next visit to help ease the pet’s anxiety.

If how your pet is treated at your veterinary clinic is important to you, we hope you’ll spread the word about how we are different from many clinics and always striving to offer as positive an experience as possible to our patients. 


Great article on removing cat urine odor from floors:

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Whole Health Pet Center
18011 E St. Rte 58
Raymore, MO 64083

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