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Less Stress For Dogs at Vets: How the research can help inform best practice with Petra Edwards PhD

Less Stress For Dogs at Vets: How the research can help inform best practice with Petra Edwards PhD


March 27, 2024 - March 29, 2029    
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm (ET)


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Webinar Description

For many companion dogs the veterinary clinic can be a stressful, fearful or traumatic experience. Developing an understanding of how the veterinary environment impacts a dog’s experience can be challenging for scientists, vets and pet parents alike. Veterinary visits are incredibly complex experiences due to the nature of what they entail – interactions with unfamiliar people or other animals, new sights, smells and sounds, unpredictable routines, and individual variations in perception, previous experience and coping mechanisms for each dog. This dynamic veterinary experience makes it challenging to identify what causes dogs to become fearful of their veterinary visits, and how that fear or stress can be reduced or prevented. This presentation offers a review of the current scientific literature on a dog’s veterinary experience, and includes practical strategies to improve welfare outcomes for dogs during veterinary visits or other handling experiences.

Learning Objectives

• Understand the current status of the research on low-stress handling in dogs

• Identify opportunities to reduce stress during handling in veterinary contexts

• Identify potential challenges to implementing low-stress handling practices


Your Presenter – Petra Edwards


Petra holds a PhD in dog behaviour and welfare and has a BSc. (Hons) with a specialisation in animal behaviour. Her PhD research focused on how dogs experience their veterinary visits, the potential causes of fear for dogs during veterinary exams, and strategies used to reduce stress in the veterinary context.

Petra is a project officer at the City of Charles Sturt Council in South Australia. She is a qualified dog behaviour coach, and has experience working in animal management in the local government sector, and in training and development in the sheltering world. She also has over 20 years’ experience in the dog training industry and has an extensive background in teaching people about how animals learn. She is very passionate about animal behaviour and welfare, and the amazing achievements and relationships that positive reinforcement training facilitates.



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