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Natalie Marks, DVM

Column: Fearless

Dr. Natalie Marks is co-owner of Blum Animal Hospital in Chicago. She is Fear Free certified.

Dr. Natalie Marks is co-owner of Blum Animal Hospital in Chicago. She is Fear Free certified.

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Find the root cause

Fearless

Fearful and anxious body language is not always behavioral in origin. In some cases, disease is the culprit.

Although this column focuses on the emotional health of our patients and how that can translate into more compliant clients and better business, like many of you I’m a clinician at heart. The better we can use all our diagnostic skills, including recognizing and interpreting canine body language, the more thorough we can be in […]

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Fearless through the end

Fearless

Learning to reduce anxiety and stress during hospice or euthanasia will elevate your hospital’s service and care and bring extra comfort to the patient and client.

I often find that the process of letting go of a patient alongside the pet owner is, ironically, what bonds the client for life. It is during these most emotional and vulnerable moments that we, as a veterinary team, have a responsibility and an opportunity to make a lasting impression conveying empathy, sympathy, compassion and […]

Goodbye fear, hello referrals

Fearless

Educating clients about stress-free approaches and responding properly when pet owners become anxious themselves can lead to a healthier practice.

Our industry has become incredibly competitive. In Chicago, it seems that every major neighborhood has a few veterinary hospitals. Meanwhile, corporate medicine is growing, low-cost conglomerates are diving into the field, and more clients are buying from online merchants like Chewy.com and 1-800-PetMeds. Not only has all this created financial stress for independent practice owners, […]

Lost in translation

Fearless

Failure to accurately assess a patient’s body language can lead to a petrified animal, an unproductive exam and poor owner compliance.

As a profession, we are making progress toward recognizing and treating our patients’ emotional health. We’ve implemented pheromones at home and in our practices, prescribed relaxation medications to give before a visit, added music and new color palettes to exam rooms, and introduced high-reward treats to enhance the patient experience. However, one incredibly important aspect […]

The road to fearlessness

Fearless

Clients can turn their dog or cat into a well-adjusted travel companion with a little help from you.

Many variables play a role in the formation of anxious or fearful behavior in traveling pets, but when clients receive good information about preparation, desensitization and stress-reducing products, our patients can have a safer and more comfortable experience. It Starts at Home For both dogs and cats, the key to reducing fear, anxiety and stress […]

The changing face of dentistry

Fearless

Easy-to-implement changes can take odontophobia out of your veterinary practice and your clients.

Odontophobia: the fear of going to the dentist. Millions of people have it and the human dental industry has spent years trying to overcome it, from allowing patients to customize music choices and sit in a massage chair to using less-painful nerve blocks and providing faster, more comfortable cosmetic choices. Still, a significant number of […]

The fearless exam room

Fearless

A few easy changes will go a long way in reducing fear, anxiety and stress in a canine or feline patient.

The heartbeat of every general veterinary practice is the exam room. This is where worried new clients sit with their dogs and cats, and sadly, where end-of-life discussions take place and the hardest decisions have to be made. The exam room is where the human-animal bond can shine, trust is created, and veterinarians, clients and patients become […]

The war on feline wellness

Fearless

Learn to reclaim your patients (and their owners) in three easy steps.

The U.S. cat population has risen by several million over the past five years, according to several studies. However, the number of feline veterinary visits is declining and nearly three times as many cats, as compared to dogs, did not receive any veterinary care in the past year. This is an incredibly disturbing trend that […]

Don’t fear the unknown

Fearless

Market your stress-free clinical approach by capitalizing on social media options and optimizing your practice website.

When I went to veterinary school many years ago, there were no marketing classes, no search engine optimization lectures, no discussion about social media or Twitter followers, and not a single hour on how a website can “make or break” your practice. In fact, I don’t think these topics were even a glimmer in my […]

Eliminate fear in pets — and in your clients

Fearless

Simple solutions start with the initial phone call and extend to the products offered at checkout.

The writer Malcolm Gladwell once said, “We don’t know where our first impressions come from or precisely what they mean, so we don’t always appreciate their fragility.” As practice owners, we know that our first opportunity to interact with and acquire a client may not occur in person or in an exam room. It may […]

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