Using Empathy to Improve the Emotional State of Dogs

Table of Contents

You’re invited to learn new protocol and research from Dr. Marty Becker!

With protocols from recent research on empathy, shelters/rescues can keep pets happy, make them more adoptable, and with a greater chance of achieving a forever home that’s happy as well as healthy.

➡️  The new science that show dogs and humans respond the same physiologically to a human infant crying and why that’s critically important to the interaction between dogs and people (staff, volunteers, and adopters).
➡️  How understanding and harnessing empathy can make dogs more adoptable with a greater chance of finding their forever home.
➡️  How you can dramatically reduce dog bites both in the shelter and at home by learning to communicate via emotional cues.

We will also save time for Dr. Marty Becker and Mal Schwartz to discuss the Fear Free program and what shelter personnel will learn.


Watch via video or continue reading below.


Webinar handout link



Webinar Transcription

This webinar was transcribed using an automated transcription service. Any misspellings to names, products, or otherwise, is a result of this service. Thanks for your understanding.


Lara: [00:00:07] Hello and welcome to today’s presentation, protecting the emotional well-being of shelter pets. Today’s webinar has been presented by Virus Animal Health. Makers of Rescue and Prevail Disinfectants funded with accelerated hydrogen peroxide. In collaboration with our friends at Shelters United, there will be a live Q&A at the end of this presentation, so please send in your questions at any time in the chat section located on the right hand side of your screen. In addition to the Q&A, we will also be joined by now shorts from shelters United, who was a very special offer for shelters, United members that you won’t want to miss, so make sure you stay tuned to the very end of this presentation. So now, without any further ado, it’s my pleasure to introduce our presenter today, Dr. Marty Becker, founder of Fear Free and America’s Veterinarian. The Over to you, Dr. Becker. [00:00:57][50.5]

Dr. Marty Becker: [00:00:58] Laura, thank you for the introduction. You look so good, Laura. You look like you’re doing a video for or something. If you didn’t have somebody already, I think that was your promo, but you look and sound so positive. I just I just love working with you.

Believe it or not, when you look at me, I’m coming to you from almost heaven ranch. We live on a horse ranch in extreme northern Idaho for our Canadian friends. We only live six miles on the Canadian border. So in two twenty at the Jeopardy tournament of champions, there was a question about what state it says. This county touches two states in a foreign country and is located in what is called the panhandle of the state and got it right. It was Idaho. So up there in the Idaho Panhandle, it’s 45 miles wide and 100 miles tall. So where we sit right now, we’re 15 miles from Montana, 30 miles from Washington state and six miles from Canada. The river that runs through this great valley was the river that was done. If you saw the movie The Revenant with Leonardo DiCaprio, where he won the Academy Award, that’s the river that runs by us here. The River Wild River runs through it. We’re all filmed on this beautiful river, but it is cold.

I just came back for a month and I look at me, could I possibly can you believe I was a month in Hawaii? My wife, whose grandmother was full blooded Cherokee, she’s got a good tan. So trust me, shoot. She got the effect of a Hawaii. I sat in the room and watched documentaries and read books and prepared for this talk. I’m really excited to talk to about you today. When I was growing up, we had no shelters or rescues in our communities. I didn’t know anything about them. I went through veterinary school, one to be a dairy practitioner, and the very first day of veterinary school the dean gave us interact the introductory talks and he started talking about the human animal bond. That affection connection.

That’s kind of like love. You know, it’s nebulous but easily understood by anybody that’s ever felt that deep connection with the pet. And next thing I know I am a companion animal practitioner, so the desire to be a dairy practitioner for 14 years evaporated in 30 minutes and I became a companion animal practitioner. He also, at the end of his introductory talks, asked for Volunteers for the People Pet partnership that matched elderly people with homeless pets, and they volunteered.

So I really saw firsthand in this formative years my veterinary profession about celebrating, protecting and nurturing that bond became familiar with shelters. When we came out, we did some pretty innovative things. We had practices in Boise and Salt Lake. We always worked with government agencies to showcase different pets. So inside of this, this combination veterinary hospital grooming, boarding, training center, pet stores, we had adoption centers for homeless pets.

So I applaud all of you who work with pets. I think we all share something special. There’s a gifted you well that allows us to go above and beyond when it comes to understanding pets interacting with them, reducing fear, anxiety and stress and helping them live happy, healthy, full lives. I got to got to practice the first week and it was during parvo. So it’s 1988 when Parboil hit and my my partner had now vacation in five years. He left for five weeks, so her was. I didn’t know anything for all these calls coming in about parvo and a lady came in. She was the next flight attendant and got up to me and grabbed me by my shirt was shaking me. I’m like, Marty, you’ve got to stop what they’re doing in this community. I’m like, Oh my God, I’m just I’ve. I’ve been in practice three days, and she told me there were gas and the dogs to death at the local shelter. I didn’t even know what that meant and went down with her and saw firsthand.

Like, right now in my mind’s eye, I can see that the image I saw and volunteered to help humanely euthanize these pets. So we’ve come a long way since then. But for those of you that are on this call today and working, I so applaud everything that you do. I’m on five national boards. I’m on five local shelter boards, but the stuff in the trenches that you do, I I’m not able to do anymore. I just got so, so many struggling things about euthanizing pets and stuff that I really had a hard time doing that. So I really applaud what you’re doing.

Let’s get started here. So you probably know about 50 shelters, it’s complementary to all shelters and rescues, there’s somewhere around 70000 individuals that are registered for that program, and about 80 percent of the people that are registered have completed that five hour online course. The thing it does is it completely changes the way we interact with our own pets.

You learn, for example, that you do not do not go up to a pet, whether it’s coming into the shelter, it’s on the street, it’s at a neighbor’s house and go forward and lean forward and go, Oh my gosh, you’re so cute and stick your fist out. Can I pet your dog? What’s its name? What breed is that? You’re doing three things wrong number one, your looming big Halloween bag number two jack prolonged direct eye contact to the eye.

Number three is putting something right in their face. That dog is smelled you before it even saw you. What you learn is to turn sideways, reduce your profile. Kind of hard for me since I got a big gut now, but you try to reduce your profile. Take a knee if you can and call the pet over to you.

We’ve learned in veterinary medicine, I’ve been down there with Temple Grand, who’s iconic. We have two hundred and fifty six people on the Fair Free Advisory Group, and the only person is truly gifted, I think, is Temple Grandin. And I don’t mean to demean the 65 boarded veterinary behaviorist that are part of fear free or the 12 Board of Anesthesiologists or the Ph.D. animal behaviors or the animal handling experts. But Temple Grandin went into a practice with me in November of 2020 during cold, but it was the only trip I took during COVID and we were in a companion animal practice and Temple goes there was a dog put up on a table on left table and the table started to go up as kind of wobbling like this and the dog froze on. Here Temple goes animals. No one fear is fire.

Their number two fear is the fear of falling for all animals. So what do you do when you left a pet off its legs to put them up on a table? They think they’re following their second greatest fear of all. By the way, Temple said, At this moment, when this dog, you know, got into Fass level four, there’s a facile fear, anxiety and stress scale. Just like there’s a body condition scoring scale, there’s a pain scale used in veterinary medicine. We now use a full scale. This dog was level four, maybe even five, which is the strongest she goes at that moment. That dog took a picture snapshot and they’re thinking pictures like Temple does an autism. And it looked at it solved this this block of white two people in white lab coats. And it’s all these cabinets. And though over here, it solved this window with this paint scheme.

She goes, I put an emotional record not to put the pet back into that practice or into that exam room the next time. And a veteran architect and I looked at each other and we went all the exam rooms look exactly the same. So based on that, visit now in designing new shelters, new places, they want to make sure that these rooms actually look different. So if a pet has a negative experience in one, you don’t put them back into the same thing that initiated the offense. So you’re always looking in anywhere.

This animal is if it’s in your home, if it’s in the practice at the groomer pet sitter boarding shelter, what can we do to remove or reduce the triggers so certain are common to all dogs. They don’t want to be put up elevated up there where they’re going to fall in. Some are particular to specific pet. It may have had a bad experience in one room. It prefers males over females. It has a very sensitive area because an ear infection. So you leave that last.

I got to put a plug in here. This is cutie pie. He’s my he’s my heart dog. I think you guys would all agree on here. There’s only one greatest dog in the world and every family has her or him. And I’ve had 16 dogs in my life and this is my little heartbeat dog. Seven dogs and a letter of canine cocktails came up from California on wings, a rescue to a local shelter, and all but one died. So Judy by here was in intensive care for six or seven days spent about seven or eight thousand bucks on the little guy. But he made it. He’s a Jack Russell Chihuahua, docs and cross. So if you could see him, he’s about two dogs, long and a half a dog tall.

So you know what to do in shelters, you know, we want to reduce fear, anxiety and stress and of course, these shelter animals, one of the things we thought of when we did the February Shelter XCOM course, what about where these pets are sourced? You know, these fishing holes for lack of a better term are the coming from Mississippi or Louisiana. And by the way, my wife and I’ve been down doing shelter rescues in the south, in Louisiana or Texas or Southern California.

We had never thought before about the intake and the transfer and what happens the very, the very moment they enter the shelter. And about our husbandry, about the cleaners that we use that don’t cause them to go nose blind about people avoiding that direct eye contact about these great people that volunteer. What can they do besides just walking their dog to take steps to reduce fear, anxiety and stress and increase happy and calm and also do enrichment activities?

You know these these mammals have this genetic exuberance they want to explore. Terriers want to dig, retrievers want to retrieve sight, hounds want to follow stuff that’s moving very quickly. And that’s one of the things you’re learning.

Once you go through that for free shelter’s course, it’ll change the way you interact with your own pet. Give you an example. Most likely, you will throw out the food balls that you are using and start using food puzzles or food dispensing devices. I live up here in close to Canada, in the deep, in the mountains where we have wolves to eat as a wolf. It to remember dogs come from wolves.

It takes six steps to eat:

You got to detect your prey. Pursue it, apprehend it. Kill it. Compete with a pack. That’s five steps. Finally, you get to belly up the other beast to eat.

Yes, what happens when you just put food in a bowl? You’re going right to step. Six Eat. And in the wild, wild canids, coyotes, wolves 80 percent of their waking hours has been in pursuit of food. So what happens if you go from 80 percent of your waking hours spent in pursuit of food to you eating in one minute or two minutes?

So what food puzzles are food dispensing devices like Kong warbler like green interactive feeder, Nina Artisan has a whole bunch of them. You can find that telecom is where we get most of Mars or or your local pet store. Or maybe you sell them in the shelter you’re feeding the body, as well as feeding the mind.

So in the past, listen, I’m no Temple Grand. Before I had this epiphany, fear free started at a talk that was given by a board of veterinary behaviorist in Canada in 2009. I gave the keynote the day before and Dr. Karen, overall, the Board of Veterinary Behaviorist, of which there’s about 100 and there’s 50 residents. You can see it’s becoming a very popular profession, especially in the profession. She attended my keynote and, you know, one of those people in the audience that smiles at you, you know, get your support.

So I thought, Well, I got to go support her the next day. She was on the front of my room. I was on the back of her room and I got her attention as she came in and I thought, You know what? I’m going to sneak out late in the day. I’ll sneak out and go, have myself a nice cold Canadian beer, meet my wife early for for supper. And I had my Franklin Covey Day planner, which I still use by the way, and checking my AOL account, which I don’t know if any of you can show a show of hands, but AOL still really handy when you’re my age constipation products and stair laughs and erectile dysfunction ads. So it’s it’s quite the place to be. And I was sitting there kind of daydreaming, and all sudden she starts out.

Fear is the worst thing a social species could experience, and it causes permanent damage to the brain that those of us that take care of animals. Veterinarians, shelter workers, trainers, groomers, our cousin repeat severe psychological damage to pets by what we were doing. Behavior produces a physiologic response or behavior as medicine fear is caused by something painful or something disturbing. And she gave these examples You trim and nails too short on a pet. Oh, that’s painful. Now, the pet seeing the nail trimmers, that’s disturbing. You’re using a syringe and a needle, you’re doing a blood draw, you’re given a vaccination, you’re given a dose of serenity. You’re given a shot of antibiotics. Oh, that’s painful. Now the pet sees the syringe. That’s disturbing.

And then she really got me with this one. She’s talked about all the normal signs of fear, anxiety and stress and things. And then she said, how many of you were a child in the 1950s or 60s and were manhandled, manipulated, threatened and abused? And she goes, I want you to think of specific incidences in your young life. When that happened and I thought of having an abscess on the end of my right index finger had a sliver and three people held me down to pull a splinter out of there. And this abscess, I still remember the whole room and everything I remember.

I got an injection, probably of an antibiotic and my butt cheek, and I started screaming at the doctor’s office and my mom rose up out of the chair with their little cat eye glasses out of this chair. Like, I still see the chrome on the handles of it and that Naga hide. She rose out and she raised her hand up there, shot up Marty. Then she goes, Don’t embarrass the doctor. So that’s the comfort I got in 1960. By the way, my sister Cheryl, who’s a physician, used to get her ponytail pulled at the dentist office to keep her mouth open.

But here’s the thing All animals are the equivalent of a toddler. No one. They’re taken against their will for health care. That was her words.

Number two, they have no idea why the procedure benefits them. They don’t know why. Vaccine benefits. They don’t know why. An example benefits and looking at a sore ear, infected mouth. Long broken toenail, the laceration of arthritic joint number three, they don’t know how long it takes, so they can anticipate or expect the relief of fear, anxiety and stress, even if it’s moments away at number four. They have no control. They can’t flee the threat to use an example of a COVID vaccine. We go in myself. I go and buy for you. Well, I know why it benefits me. I know it’s going to take 30 minutes. And any time I got freaked out, I could leave and I did see people get freaked out and leave.

By the way, while a dog coming in or a cat coming in, they don’t know why. They’re going against their will. They have no idea why it benefits them, they can anticipate or expect the relief, feel it’s going to last 30 minutes or the actual exam is going to be six minutes and they can’t flee the threat. So that’s what the difference is before fear free. I was stretching cats out into two zip code. Their head was in San Francisco, in their ass was in Oakland. It was their head was in New York City and their house was in Brooklyn. It had.

That was what I was taught restraint. Restraint designed to protect people. And now in fair, free alert about gentle control. It’s designed to protect the pet. And what a difference it makes. You know, originally it just started out to, you know, prevent or relieve animal pain and suffering. We actually take an oath. You know, an oath is a sacred vow. You know, we take a vow, an oath to prevent or relieve animal pain and suffering.

Heck, we were causing it by what we were doing or not doing. And so it’s it’s just, you know, and then we started finding out, my gosh, it’s better medicine, the vital signs, the temperature, pulse respiration, what if the temperature taken into a shelter in the pet is calm or it’s inside the shelter and its temperatures? One one three one to three point five? Huh? That might not be shivering from shivering and shaking and elevating the temperature might have an infection, or if it’s heart rate is higher, it might be tachycardia. It might be, you know, hypothyroidism and the blood chemistries are more normal. You take these tests and the white blood cell count is higher, you know, when you get really stressed. What happens is the spleen just squeezes out, and it puts a lot of red blood cells into circulation to oxygenated, and it puts white blood cells into circulation to fight infection.

Well, what if the white blood cell count was higher because there was actually an infection somewhere, not just because the pet was stressed? Same thing with blood glucose is is a pre-diabetic or is it just in the fight or flight response? And the physical exam is more normal? You’ve all probably taken a pet to the vet where it was, it was limping or you touched it and it cried out in pain. You take it to the vet and you can’t reproduce that. That’s because the pets in that fight or flight response. But one of the things you know we’re looking at now everywhere that these pets goes, I’ve actually seen studies done of the sounds a little gross, but bear with me on this.

Take your dog to the happiest place. You can think it wants to go like it’s up on a walk, a you’re going up to your cabin or it’s on a hike up in the mountains and it’s happy and it takes a pope and you double bag it in a two zip locks and you toss it in the Yeti cooler and then your same dog going to the veterinarian. Or if it has a bad experience at the groomer, which you see a lot of those in these in these grooming places where the pets are terrified, take that feces and double bag it and put it in the attic cooler and then go somewhere random in this test and put the two fecal samples out. The one from the Happy Place dogs will come up in this happy kind of continents and mark over it. The ones that come from the really stressful place, like the shelter, like the veterinary practice, like grooming it will come up and get fairly close to it.

Then they just flare off like they’ve hit a shield on a Star Wars because of fear pheromones. So you have to think of this, these pheromones, you can’t sell them a cat, can’t smell a dog and a dog can’t smell a cat when humans can’t smell either one of them. But that animal control Typekit truck, those vertical surfaces outside the shelter, that column that portico the end of that wall, that handicapped sign that they’re urinating on it has fear pheromones on it. And that’s why in really good facilities, you pick up the feces out there more than once a day. And those vertical surfaces that are out there, you make sure they’re sprayed with rescue and then better yet, then spritz back across them with a ferret with pheromones so adaptable for dogs and feel that way for cats.

One of the things you can do, for example, I see and in really good shelters and rescues, and this is taken from fear free veterinary practices. When the pets come in, they have a little treat bags with them, so they’ll come down, take a knee and try to make that very first moment in there. Something, you know, really. We call it putting the treat into treatment, but something really tasty and then have the the pet parent, whether they’re bringing an end to relinquish or whatever, put a bandanna on the dog that’s been impregnated with pheromones. If it’s a cat, you can toss a little cotton ball in there that’s impregnated with Philip by into the carrier. And then we use fleece baby blankets. We actually know if you if you go to fear free shelter XCOM, there’s a research link that’ll take you back to February

And if you want to look at the research, but pets like fleas better than they like cotton towels, and they like pastel colors better than than white. White is the worst possible color you can have. So think of it looks good on Easter eggs, it looks good on. It looks good to pets, but use towel warmers and have some for cats and some for dogs, fleece blankets.

And so that way in that pets coming in, it’s got that little collar on that little bit that bandana on it, then that’s put into a cage or a run that has that blanket that has those pheromones in it. And by the way, everybody that works in the shelter, in the veterinary hospital should be wearing those wearing stuff with those pheromones. It’s best actually refresh those twice a day.

If you follow the advice of the person that invented the synthetic pheromones, he likes to put fuel away from the waist up and adaptable for dogs on the waist down, but you can truly just mix them all over you. It doesn’t matter, but you need to do it about twice a day. Far as sounds, we know that pets, like certain kinds of sounds, are some great research on it. Basically, pets like classical music. For some reason, they like reggae. You can go online to two weeks. Com or Amazon and get I I ICOM dog or I calm cats are a little portable music players or you can just go to Spotify or Pandora. There’s some great pet relaxation tracks on there as well.

So when you come into a place, it’s very free. What you don’t see outside is their smell in these pheromones when they’re coming in. It’s these pheromones. They’re smelling their mother and there’s great care taken to reduce the the loud sounds to have this very pleasant sound. And of course, to do this that rather than restraint, you’re looking at something called gentle control. You still have positional compliance, but you know, it makes it. We actually changed our used to have and you probably have this a shelter, caution, fearful animal. It’s red with white lettering that really sticks out and used to have cautioned fearful pet. And that meant there was a job to be done to protect us from the pet. And now it says costs and fearful pet. And that means there’s work to be done to protect this pet. And one of the things you find out about fear free is one is you match up with this, this oath we take or rather this kind of pledge we do to help pets live happy, healthy, full lives. It is better medicine.

There’s a dramatic decrease in injuries, dramatic decrease in injuries. In fact, veterinary practices that have three February certified people get a very significant discount on workers compensation. That’s because one is you’re always working to keep the fear, anxiety and stress levels low. And so you’re very aware of that kind of things and you don’t hesitate to to retreat. So in the past, we would have just taken the dog to the back in a veterinary practice and had two or three, you know, technicians hold the dog down. And now if you have a pet, that’s very stressed, I have this saying we’re not going to sacrifice your pets long term emotional well-being for the convenience of getting this done.

Today, we have three choices we can retreat and come back another day, a different way. We can give it something intramuscularly that will take effect almost immediately, or we can give it something orally. If you have, you know, an hour to wait or you can come back and and do this procedure today. So, you know, when you think of these pets, I I like you have seen these pets come in that are absolutely terrified, number one, they they know, you know, those pets that know when they go to the vet, they know if you’re going to the park or you going to Petco versus going to the veterinarian. And when you come into a shelter, you know, it’s extremely stressful. For most pets, that entry, there’s pheromones all over the place. You often can hear animals in distress and all the different sites and smells and sounds and everything that are in there.

And so what happens is that pet that’s already, you know, I’ve been very open about my my mental health issues. I have severe depression that luckily medication takes pretty good care. But I went to therapy for the first time and I can pass out things that have happened in my life. You know, dad, manic depressive, multiple suicides, my family, dad an alcoholic and other things in your amygdala. This little almond shaped thing that sits up above the roof of your mouth and your dog’s mouth, it stars all these negative memories. I don’t know how that little tiny thing stores every bad thing that’s happened, but in a dog or cat, you can’t pass out what happened, what happened to that pet if you came from Louisiana and then it was this shelter and then it was very home for you, or it lived in two or three different homes.

What exactly happened with them? And so that’s why with a lot of these, these pets, you can’t pass it out. So you’ve got to do things to to remove or reduce these triggers in. And often it ends up being something that’s nutraceutical or a pharmaceutical. But of course, the longer you know these pets are in the shelter, these kind of some of these emotional suffering escalates and. And that’s what this fear free shelters course does is it takes you through all these different pieces.

And what can you do to remove or reduce these triggers and all of these different areas of the of the of the shelter? Now, one of the things you’ll learn about. I still remember when Karen overall gave this initial talk to me, and you’ve all seen a lot of the signs of the, you know, shivering, shaking, panting, yawning dogs. Well, John, they’re not yawning because they’re bored. They’re not panting because they’re hot. They’re panting. Because they’re stressed. They’re yawning. Because they’re stressed. Or they’ll shake dry like they’re wet, but they’re not wet. Or they they’ll lean away from something or you see them waylaid. You see a furrowed brow, you’ll see pinned back ears or a pin tail.

One of the things that I thought was really crazy was dogs. I always thought dogs that came in and act like they were sleeping was was. They were just so relaxed. And, you know, with the best intention. Many of us who care for animals don’t recognize the signs of deep stress like pain, sleep or what’s called learned helplessness. We think these pets are sleeping or calm when in fact it’s it’s they’re suffering the worst possible stress and this is called there’s something called the defense cascade. And when right now, if you were to hear a scream or a gunshot or explosion, you would alert and then you think, fight or flight?

Well, if you get cornered, you know, from watching executions and World War two or different things with probably what’s happening in Ukraine right now. Sadly, once you get cornered and you know you can’t move, you get in what’s called collapsing mobility, you just can’t not move. So what I thought was the dog that’s laying there with its head down with his eyes closed was was sleeping actually there and collapsing and mobility.

Same thing with a frozen cat. You know, cats who they suffer from stress related physical illnesses where I was emotional distress, those cats that are frozen, which before fair, free, I liked it because you could do anything are actually in the very worst possible condition. That’s a great thing about fear free. Most veterinary practices now, whether they’re fair, free or not, have changed the way they practice. More and more pets are examined, not up on the table.

We’re doing our animal handling differently. We’re using a lot of something called gabapentin, and I can’t do a Cheech and Chong voice very well. But normally when you’d see a cat come to the practice, we would say they were EFT. And I’m not talking to naughty EFT fight, flight freeze or fidget. And we give a little gabapentin to a cat. It’s like far out, man. Man, this is nice, Cheech. Yeah, this is nice. It’s amazing what difference that makes him.

Probably quite a few shelters are using an oral Bordetella now, rather than in an intranasal Bordetella. You squirt liquid in a mammal’s nose. They don’t like it. You give it orally and have a lot less, a lot less problems. This is true, nobody goes into treating animals to make life worse for them. You know, we we all want to make life better for pets and one of the things we’ve done, I think we’ve done a good job of focusing on physical well-being.

You know, we have shelter veterinarians, you take them to the veterinarians, we make sure we use, you know, the right kind of cleaning products going to make sure they get exercise. But we haven’t looked at the emotional well-being and enrichment activities. So, you know, several things can change there where there’s there’s site barriers, there’s pheromones use, there’s calming music use, there’s knowing how to do the animal handling piece.

There’s enrichment activities for these pets because ultimately what we all want, isn’t it for them to have a find their right forever home and even even, you know, a lot of dogs aren’t given the right kind of dogs and cats are given a fair chance because the people that come in to adopt them don’t know how to interact with them. They interact in the way they’ve always interact with them, putting their hand out expected on the dog to come right over to them. Where if a lot of these dogs, if they would just get down, you know, turn sideways, column over to some of these shy dogs would come over immediately and they’d have a great a great interaction.

So, you know, where what can you do, I think is is go through this course where we, you know, look at ways to to reduce or remove these kind of triggers. It’s available at no cost for all shelter staff and volunteers. And again, we’re working on protecting the emotional health, focus on creating and maintain a physiological or behavior well-being. We want pets to not just have lower levels of anxiety and stress, but higher levels of of happiness and calm.

By the way, we’re doing a study right now with dogs that are within a certain mile radius of Disneyland and think of the dogs that have noise phobias where every night at Disneyland. Boom, boom, boom. Or people that live in Florida. Those of you down in Tampa, Clearwater, the the thunderstorm capital of the world. No dog should have to suffer from noise phobias up here we have a little dog, and if they’ll make an appearance here in a little bit. But he has noise, phobias and the snow sliding off the roof or thunderstorms or it’s hunting season up here. We treat them for noise phobias. They don’t have to suffer going to think they’re going to die and going to the veterinarian.

Most of the pets that come in to North Eido Animal Hospital, where fear free started and where I practice come in for nail trims, will drag their owner into the thing to have their nails trimmed. If you go to, we’ve created the best nail trim course on the planet. 85 percent of the cats are coming to that clinic that aren’t sick or injured will take a treat. But it’s a step of protocols you know of. It’s a it’s a series of protocols and procedures developed by 256 experts. And then that was based on the fear of recourse for the veterinarians on the 50 shelters course.

It was Brenda Griffin from Shelter Medicine Project and Kate Hurley, the world’s first shelter medicine program, and Sheila DRP know the San Francisco SPCA really led those teams. But the very best things you can see and so you learn how to look at these subtle signs and look at how to remove or reduce these these triggers. You learn, for example, that you know, next time you have a drive for your shelter, ask for baby blankets, you know, rather than towels, and learn the things of these cleaners that don’t cause pets to go nose when.



So, you know, one of the things that you know here is is you got to think of these pets again and that amygdala, that little tiny thing that’s, you know, tiny amygdala is almond in Latin sits up right above the roof of your mouth, deep in the brain that holds all those negative memories. There’s a lot of things that that we don’t know that just animal handling, just changing colors, just changing bedding, just changing cleaning things can’t take care of.

And that’s why you have to look sometimes to nutraceuticals, to compression garments, to pharmaceuticals I’m with. Going to be a temple at the Western Veterinary Conference room of you on this call are going to be at the Western Veterinary Conference. There’s a full day on for free on on Monday, March 7th. But I also have a couple of spots open for for dinner. Laura is going to go to dinner with Temple Grandin. Small dinner parties. So I’ve gotten to know her very, very well.

But this thing in this amygdala, sometimes, you know, autistic people love to be compressed. And, you know, I think about compression. That’s why you swaddle a baby. That’s why autistic people like to be held very, very tightly. Or Temple Grandin actually invented kind of a squeeze chute for yourself in college. We lost three family members in the past year due to COVID and one to lung cancer. So light my my wife’s family out. And when you lose somebody, they give you these deep hugs in that deep hug is just something primal, but it’s that compression.

So thunder shirts work very well in dogs and pretty well in cats. Most people put them on too tight, and cats are not tight enough and dogs, by the way, but very good success with those compression garments. There’s nutraceuticals like Zell Kinsey, while Kenny. It’s by a company called Vet Aquino, and I’m not sure Mal will have to say if that’s available through shelters united, but it works very well. You can use it long term. It’s a milk protein, and, you know, Mother Nature had to figure out, Hey, I’ve got baby puppies or kittens, and I’m going to be laying on my side nursing them. And I don’t want this to be Golden Corral for a predator, right? So how am I going to keep these these puppies or kittens quiet through pheromones?

So the mother secretes something around the nipples to cause these pets to be calm? All the lucky thing is that works throughout a dog and cat’s life. So 14 year old dog, the same pheromones cause them to become older, 20 year old cat feel the way, cause them to be calm. There’s also something in the milk that causes them to be calm. We thought for a while it was just a distended stomach, but there’s actually something in milk. So this Zil queen is a milk protein. And no, we didn’t use little tiny fingers in milk. Little cats like, I can’t remember the fockers or something. We don’t milk little tiny queens and get little get milk. It comes from cows milk, but it’s been been modified to work very well. And again, gabapentin works so well and sometimes you have to use something stronger, like Celia, like generic Xanax or things like that, but you’re going to understand how you match up.

There’s something and I want to before we’re done today, I got some new research. I want to talk to guys a little bit about emotional contagion. And even even things that you start to learn. We talk about understanding the body language clues. I don’t know if you know that dogs, our dogs are right or left preference just like we are, we’re right handed right or their dogs that are right. Paw right from paw preference are left part and also dogs will swing their tail more to the right of the left.

And basically, if you have a shelter pet, you’ll have to see this with your pets at home. If the dog wags its tail to the right, they’re generally associated with being more positive emotionally. If their tail primarily wags to the left, it’s associated with a negative emotional valence. And also, this is because the, you know, the the emotional side of the brain or the logical side of the brain. How are you going to? Hell, if your dog is right or left paw preference, get a Kong, stuff it up or give him a really good ball and see which part they hold that Kong with as they left the contents out. That’ll say if they’re right or left, paw preference, if it’s right paw preference and if or if its tail rides to the right, you’re probably going to have a dog that is much, much easier, mostly and lot, a lot easier to train. Considered approach, I guess I talked about that a little bit early.

There’s a good dog side fear, anxiety and stress. You see the whites of their eyes tail is tucked for as our ears are pinned back. And what you want to do is you don’t want to walk up to that pet looking at it and stick your hand out and stuff like that. Turn sideways, drop down, take a knee if you’re able to. It’s getting harder now that I’m almost 68. Call the pet over to you, and if you can Hansel and Gretel at over, you know, and you’ve got to have really good traits to do this. As Temple’s said, you can’t have stuff that’s too novel. Like, I wouldn’t recommend a piece of the Collins Street bakery fruitcake. It’s left over. That’s probably not going to work. But when I practice as a veterinarian or through animal hospital, I have turkey hot dogs, Vienna sausages, spam, turkey and beef, baby food, easy cheese, cheddar and bacon strips. You know, cheese slices, whipped cream, peanut butter, liver paste. I’m forgetting some of them, but it’s all deli turkey, a tuna salmon. So you have stuffed, you have warm deli turkey. I’m telling you you’re probably going to get that dog to walk over and start introducing itself with you.

And remember, you can have guide to avoid prolonged direct eye contact. General control is restraint was designed to protect the people technicians are taught, don’t let the doctor get bitten. And it didn’t matter how many people held it down, you tither. We do nail trims and you’ve probably seen this in the shelter tither muzzle shot with gauze. Three people holding them down always taken them back to the same place in the in the the shelter or the practice to the nail terms.

What do we do now? How do you get a dog to drag the owner into the hospital? Have their nails trimmed? Number one the pet parent and this is to it anything. They have to participate in this. They should start that magic carpet of pheromones that they can have the pet come in hungry play play. Don’t baby talk the pet on the way in, but play calming music when it comes in. You know we’ve cleaned these surfaces correctly. The scale the outside surfaces are where in the pheromones and we don’t take it. Blast back to the same place that was done for might take it to the doctor’s office. Do it outside, do it in the employee lounge. Do it, do it in a in reception area.

But we, you know, with this gentle control, believe me, the dog bites goes so far down when you don’t physically restrain them. And you know, the one thing is you got to remember is you can always come back another day a different way. You will have people if you’re using any kind of nutraceuticals or pharmaceuticals, you’ll have people say, we’ve never used those in 40 years. We’ve done stuff well. We don’t do convenient euthanasia anymore. We don’t do it crops. You know, there’s a lot of things we don’t do anymore, and it’s not safe. It’s not safe to do it. And it’s not fair to this pet. That’s that’s just going to load up their amygdala with lots of of negative wellbeing, Laura. Keep going or. [00:41:36][456.4]

Lara: [00:41:37] Just a couple more slides and we’ll be joining you again. [00:41:40][2.3]

Dr. Marty Becker: [00:41:40] Oh, good. OK, so you know, if you’d asked me before fair, free, by the way, I’m feeding using food balls and foods dispensing devices. I have done that for 15 years. Based on imported better was none of our dogs eat out of out of footballs and on our horses up there. The horses have mangers, but we use, we use different things were put nets out for them to find hay in different parts of the thing. We have these. We have giant balls for them to play with. We have a giant Kong that’s for horses. We have things like carrots and we do all sorts of stuff for enrichment activities.

But if you’d asked me for a fair free. What are the absolute needs for a cat, OK, food, water, shelter and veterinary care? No cats have a half a place to hide. They have to have a place to scratch and they have to have a place to climb. They have to have that. And so that’s the thing about enrichment activities. You know, now we have probably in this log home here you can see glimpses of we probably have six or seven different scratching surfaces. Some are vertical. Some are horizontal. Some are there different substrates. Some are cardboard. Some are carpet. Some are sizable. And we have several places where the cats can climb. And cats are a really weird thing. They’re this weird ecological niche between prey and predator. And so if their prey prey animal, they want to get up so they don’t become super. If they’re a predator, they want to get up to look for supper, they want to be able to see it. So that’s why cats love getting up high.

One of the things we’ve got to do in whatever facility we’re in is reduce the noise. There’s a product called a yak or tracker. You can look. I think it’s why AKL tracker trackers designed for preschools to keep the noise down. It looks like an old fashioned stoplight where it’s red, green and yellow. And so you set this thing. Ideally, you want to be about 75 decibels, and as long as it’s, well, 75 decibels, there’s this nice little green glow that comes out of that. If it gets higher, it goes the yellow. And finally, above a certain level, it goes to red. But it’s a reminder to keep our. Our voices down.

One of my favorite practices that I go to, that’s fair, free, and if you guys are doing space interest in your in your facility, whenever we wake the pets up from surgery, we we have them in a fleece baby blanket. Remember pastel colors and we put little tiny baby socks on them because pets lose heat out of their feet and out of their head. And that’s one of the things you want to do in recovery. You’ve been in a hospital probably before known. Somebody want to keep them nice and warm.

And so there’s a there’s a thing called I think it’s called Zip. Whip is an app you can get, and anybody can take a picture with their mobile phone and it shows up from the shelter or from the veterinary hospital is what the pet parent will see. And you can show that pet coming out of surgery, wearing those little, those little baby socks. I love that. You know, and one of the things you know in going through, I’m I’m not, you know, again, all this stuff’s in the fair free shelter course, but you’ve got to learn to give them so they don’t feel this learned helplessness that they have.

You know, if they’re a dog next to them, that’s aggressive or they have to pass by a dog aggressively, always take things so they have some control on removing themselves from these unpleasant stimuli. And I’m sure a lot of you do things like like Cong stuff, and I’ve been in shelters where where they have people come in and read poetry to the dogs. Others come in and play. Somebody will play music to them. I remember being in San Francisco, not San Francisco, the New York ASPCA there, and somebody came in every afternoon and read poetry to the dogs. Others will have yappy hour. Some then I’ll come. There are the big carts full of cons. Pros and cons. And buying peanut butter by the pallet full from Costco.

But think of things you can do to feed the body and feed the mind and do enrichment activities for these pets. Why they’re in the shelter or the rescue. And by the way, that’s probably a good time to talk to you a little bit about emotional contagion and you know, we can supply studies for this and anybody that that loves the science on it, but this is really interesting. You know, there hasn’t been another domesticated species in 5000 years after dogs and only dogs and cats have have broken down our hearts and homes in mass. And so you think of 5000 years about these, you know, more than 5000 years, 40000 years for dogs. There’s a special affection connection with them.

I don’t know if you know, if it’s in the intro, but I was the resident veterinary and Good Morning America for 17 years started out with Dr. Oz when he started to show was on his show for six years. And part of our team was I’m a nationally syndicated columnist about a pet column for over two decades. I’ve written 23 books and sold eight million books and had some New York Times bestsellers, and I’m still a practicing veterinarian and am so fascinated by, you know, I wrote a book called The Healing Power of Pets about that human animal health connection.

And when you stroke a dog within about 60 seconds, there’s this massive release of positive biochemicals oxytocin, prolactin, fino a followin oxytocin, the hug hormone prolactin. Think of a mother nursing a baby funeral. Follow me in the active ingredient in chocolate. It doesn’t matter if that’s an 80 year old man stroke, and it’s like a mother nursing a baby, eating a chocolate bar. And the great thing is, the dog gets exactly the reciprocal biochemical spot treatment.

So I don’t know how many of you if you want to put in the comments, who have you have rooters or rakers, but rotors are the ones that take their nose and root your hand up and down. Like, What the hell are you stopping? Pet me for scratching me for? I had a dog at summer rakers where they take their pop. They scratch on you. Like, What are you doing? Stop and they scratch on you. And my wife and I been married next year, 45 years, and she I love to have my feet tickled. She loves to have her feet. Massage of both of us do it for a little while and we’re thinking, Oh God, I hope that’s enough. I want to quit. At the same time, we’re watching binge watching different shows on TV and we just can’t quit doing it. The poor little pets, you know? Oh, they’ve only slept eight in the last 24 hours, you know? So anyway, you get this biochemical spa tree.

But let’s know this about the emotional contagion I’m going to read this emotional contagion is the emotional response triggered by perceiving the emotional state of another individual with people. It’s an inner species, especially members of the social group with whom they have a strong social relationship or bond. So in people, it’s you with your friends. Is you with your family? It’s you with your neighbors, it’s you with your coworkers, you with their church families, but also pet parents and their family dogs.

We have an emotional contagion with our dogs, so that means they read our emotions. We read their emotions, they respond. Dogs and humans bond almost the same to a baby crying. So, and even to a lesser extent, this emotional contagion may also apply if the dogs respond to the emotional state of less familiar people or animals, i.e. scents and vocalizations and body language in a shelter thing they can read, see, hear, smell, human and dog emotions. It’s called emotional matching feel.

The emotional experience or empathy for others. Very anxiety and stress result in negative emotional state or mood compared to neutral or innocuous responses, while positive may enhance the emotional state mood motor response. So basically, what this means is this only humans and dogs and a few other primates have emotional contagions in that they can. They can look at the mood of their own species, but also in other species.

And so it’s going to be some really valuable to see about how reducing fear, anxiety and stress in people that work at shelters and rescue actually effects the emotional well-being of animals. A lot more to learn there. So anyway, think about right if your dog, try it, see if it has a right pop preference or which way its tail goes. And also know about this emotional contagion that truly how we feel affects the pets that we take care of.

Yeah, you know, it’s funny, Arquette’s cats now it’s one of the things we’ve done because of fear free, it’s so much about emotional well-being. We play with Deborah Darbyshire, our cat’s favorite toy, all these different scratching surfaces. We put the food for fatality. You know, we have a log large home. We hide her food all over the house, so she goes for food. We use a product I can’t remember the name of. It looks like a giant tongue, and she lays on a heated, you know, a heat pad like my mom used to is where the fleas pink fleece fleece baby blanket on it, and we use this tongue with these little rubber fingers. And there’s one called Hong Kong has Zoom room for dogs and cats, but prolonged massage my wife as an animal massage therapist.

There’s actually books on Therapeutic Pet Massage now, so we’re learning lots of stuff about not just physically healthy, but emotionally healthy animals. The course is free because I know I’ll stop here, right? [00:51:10][569.5]

Lara: [00:51:11] This is where we are rejoining is Somalia. That’s going to be popping on here in a second and just waiting around to turn on his camera and make that. Here we go. It has been a lively chat. It’s been great to see you. [00:51:26][14.8]

Dr. Marty Becker: [00:51:27] Al, how are we going to match up with Laura’s enthusiasm? She’s like, she makes a Wal-Mart greeter seem depressed [00:51:31][4.4]

Speaker 3: [00:51:34] to do our best, Marty. OK, I have a question about. I know that if you’re free, it’s really taken on like like wildfire across the country. And I know that veterinarians pay for it and groomers and trainers pay to be trained with fear free. And this course is actually free for animal welfare organizations. And I wonder why you do that and and what we might expect next from pure free. Well, we will. [00:52:04][29.8]

Dr. Marty Becker: [00:52:05] We what we wanted it. It was our way of giving back. Mal, you happen to know that for me, this is for free is going to charity anyway. It’s going to help if I could share my big dream with it, where where my wife and I are, you know, a Sunday when fear free sells, we’re going to fund 12 to 15 endowed chairs and behavior at Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Right now, there’s not an endowed chair and behavior in any veterinary school globally, and they’ll be 12 to 15 in one location and each chair will look at one species, so one for dogs, cats, horses, goats, sheep thinking of a global community. But the things and I was again, I I had my eyes open. I didn’t even know what a shelter was until I got to college. I’d never been in a shelter.

We didn’t have shelters growing up in rural southern Idaho, but then got involved with the People Pet Partnership at Washington state that very first day and then started started working with shelters. And I just I so applaud these people. You know that they they give so much of themselves in these rescues their time, their money, your energy, their homes, the people that you know, my wife and I were like, like you guys twice I can think of in the last few years, we went to some shelter event and we promised each other we wouldn’t adopt anything. We shook hands. We will not adopt anything today. And then one time she failed. At one time I felt so what? I think, what I think will happen next for shelters, there are some other we keep.

We keep adding different modules to the fear free shelter course. So it’s constantly evolving. But we’re going to rethink. We’re going to rethink. Animal handling. So right now, there’s not. We’re going to become the best part on the globe to actually look at animal handling of dogs and cats, so that’s a little bit. That’s allied to fear free, but a little bit different.

So you can expect that probably in the next 18 months to literally take all the stars from everywhere on the globe, put them together in one spot. [00:54:08][123.3]

Lara: [00:54:09] Awesome. And on that topic, actually, it is a good time to address one of the questions that came up in the chat where we had Jim ask us if you’re free collaborates with organizations who are building new shelters. [00:54:21][11.7]

Dr. Marty Becker: [00:54:23] Yes. Yeah, we absolutely do. And one of the things we’re going to do, we certify veterinary hospitals, to be fair, free certified that any hospital. So you can’t have a fair free certified veterinary hospital without fear, free certified people. So, you know, the people part comes first and you certify the practice kind of like, AHA, we are in the process of developing a certification course, a certification for shelter facilities. And I will tell you, you do not listen, do not have to remodel your shelter. Like in practice, you don’t have to have separate dog and cat waiting rooms.

You don’t have to, you know, do this massive construction. What you do is a lot of it is remodeling your animal handling and doing just certain things. So it’s it’s I’m on the board of five local shelters. All five of the local shelters we have could be a 50 certified facility. So that is coming. And then I got to put a plug in for Animal Art’s animal arts in Boulder. Colorado is the best place I’ve ever seen for fear free design, and they’re just new veterinary hospitals that are fear free have no reception area at all. There’s none.

There’s a little desk there where you can come in and pick up prescription or food, but instead there’s more exam room so the pets aren’t in that collective spot. There’s there’s you know, when you go into E.R., if you’re going to err on the human side, the door curtains around you, there’s there’s those things in there so you can isolate a pet and isolate those blanket cages so they don’t see other pets in distress.

So animal arts has a free white paper on fair, free design. If you just google them and say, Hey, is this Dr. Marty Becker talks and send me the white paper on fair, free design, they’ll they’ll send it to you. But we’re always we collect we there’s nothing we wouldn’t do to help a shelter or rescue with any questions you have with without cost. [00:56:05][101.8]

Lara: [00:56:06] Of course, and you know, it’s a good thing you joined us because we did have quite a few questions about shelters united as well. I’ll just turn over to a little more info about then super frank. [00:56:19][13.3]

Mal Schwartz: [00:56:20] Thank you. So exciting to be here with you, Marty and Lara, so I appreciate the opportunity. Shelters United is actually a free group purchasing organization that helps all animal welfare organizations, whether they be rescues or shelters, or a Spaniard or clinics or tour groups save money and all the purchases that they need. And it’s kind of the biggest question we typically get for people who are considering shelters, united are what’s the catch because it’s free to join.

There is no minimum purchase and there’s no purchase requirements at all. And the answer is always, there is no catch. You know, they say it’s too good to be true, but it actually is true. It’s a free program, and all we’re about is trying to help animal welfare groups save money on everything that they need. So shelters united is that is worth checking out. [00:57:16][55.8]


About Shelters United


Lara: [00:57:17] Yes, I believe you were saying shelters. You have members saved over $2 million last year. [00:57:21][4.7]

Mal Schwartz: [00:57:22] That’s correct. That’s correct. We had over $2 million saved among our twelve hundred members.

We have almost twelve hundred were just a few short of 300, which could happen any day now, and those groups saved over $2 million overall. So it’s great. And actually, we have a great opportunity today for shelters United members with our special promotion and bundle for viruses, rescue disinfectants.

It’s really a great opportunity to get one of these bundles where the whole goal of this is to be able to provide a mixing station that allows the organizations to get the right amount of of concentrated product, mixing it with the right dilution for the specific task at hand and cleaning the floor or cleaning the countertop. And so this is an opportunity to get one of these mixing stations essentially for free if you buy a full 55 gallon drum of rescue now at almost half price if you purchase that other bundle with two two five gallon pails of rescue.


Introducing new Rescue Equipment Bundles


And I just want to let everybody know that this offer is so new that it’s not actually available at our MWI store. So if you contact one of our if you’re a shelter member, contact one of your member consultants, Mary Beth or Danielle, and placed an order for one of these equipment bundles, and they’ll help you walk that through that.

And if you’re not a member yet, one of our shelter specialists can get you set up so you can order one of these bundles and get this amazing opportunity for your organization. [00:59:10][108.5]


Dr. Marty Becker: [00:59:24] I want to. I want to put a plug in, you know, of the five local shelters. You know, we parties have participate in what you do mal, and there’s group buying buying groups for veterinary medicine, almost all practices involved, but there’s never been anything involved with shelters.

And you know, I know a lot of the shelters out there, some of the five on ones awash in money that was live in an area with a lot of money and a lot of people that live in Seattle and are in Sandpoint for vacation homes. And I won’t name any. But you know, there are certain ones, you know, in the Seattle area, stuff that a lot of money and most of them are coin operated and they, you know, and so it really helps if you can save money in the stuff that you, you have to have to buy anyway.

And there is no catch.

Mal Schwartz: [01:00:13] yeah, well, you know, I’ve been in animal welfare for 42 years. I was here back in the day, Marty, when they used those decompression chambers to euthanize the bill. And I know people who carry that around is a huge burden on their shoulders. You know, 40 years later, they’re still carrying that burden around.

So you know, this idea of using empathy and really tuning into the pet, I think is such a fascinating thing. It amazes me that you created this concept that is so simple in its conceptual nature, but to actually implement it is actually far more complex than than anybody could think of. And you figured out a way to turn this really powerful idea into something that’s really revolutionizing the care of animals to out the entire ecosystem of veterinarian, trainer, room or shelter. And it’s really, really awesome. [01:01:09][56.8]

Dr. Marty Becker: [01:01:10] You know, we’ve been blessed. It’s a team effort. You know, it’s we, not me. I mean, I’m I have a I have passion. I have determination. I have a network and and I think I’m pretty good at popularizing something a communication skill. But there’s it’s built on the bedrock aborted veterinary behaviorist. I would have no idea, though, that it. I only did this because I had my life changed with one lecture, and that can happen. I think one message sometimes whether it’s in your church or at a lecture, in college or something and and when I realize

I’ve loved animals my whole life, I felt like I was compassionate. I had no idea that we were causing this kind of damage to pets. I thought that was all collateral damage. There’s nothing you could do about it. And then when you realize, you know, I knew pets had emotions and I knew there was stress, I just didn’t know there’s something we could do about it.

So we spent five years figuring out proof of concept. How do you? We worked with Stevie Harris and Board of Veteran Behaviorist, an animal handling experts, and actually figured out how to do it. And then it was just to match up with the oath. And then we found out better medicine, fewer injuries, easier attract and retain people, and it makes practice fun.

And I think this thing with shelters, you know, anything that we can, we can do that. And I did notice some of the comments there, by the way. You can take for free the cult favorite shelters dot com as many times as you want. There’s if you go to wags like wag your tail, wags it. Fair, free If anybody says I’m here, I’m having trouble, I took it before. Can I take it again? Wags it for free, and they’ll they’ll get you set up.

This is available to shelters and rescues around the world. Doesn’t matter where you’re at, and it’s also free to all veterinary students, faculty and staff, all veterinary nursing students, faculty and staff. And right now, more about two thirds of the 33 veterinary schools the United States require for free certification that all students before graduation. [01:03:08][118.0]

Mal Schwartz: [01:03:09] It’s an amazing evolution, just amazing. And you know, you mentioned the charter. A bunch of folks are asking whether you shelters united that you could purchase, you know, prescription medications.

And yes, that that’s actually one of the greatest benefits helping animal welfare groups, rescues and shelters save money on the prescription products and the over-the-counter products that they need. And it’s funny that you mentioned that it’s it’s free and you sort of stress that in shelters, United is free. But I see a lot of parallels between what fear free is doing and what shelters United is doing. And it sort of tickles me to see those. [01:03:45][35.4]

Dr. Marty Becker: [01:03:45] Well, now you and I have known each other on different boards because we’ve served on all these national boards, and it’s because Miles a great board member and I’m pretty lousy. We’re in this for the right reasons, you know?

You know, even you just think of the way the world is and those of us that get to work with animals, you know, with people, it’s, you know, it’s it’s sometimes it’s it’s hidden agendas and posturing for personal gain and performances with animals. Unconditional love. Limitless affection to die for loyalty. We laugh. Every day with them, and it’s it’s a great bargain that we did and those those people, those of you that aren’t here, that work as shelters and rescues, I bow to you. I find other ways to support it, but I can’t do the day to day things anymore just from having euthanized so many dogs. But bless you. Bless you. Bless you. [01:04:41][45.5]

Mal Schwartz: [01:04:42] I look forward to seeing you at the Western Veterinary Conference in a week or so. You and I are both looking really forward to meeting Temple Grandin, too. That should be such an awesome opportunity. I’ve never met her in person, so I’m really looking forward to it. [01:04:57][15.1]

Dr. Marty Becker: [01:04:58] Yeah, she she has. She has a she is just what it what a gift. That’s all I can just say. What a gift. And she helped us, you know, going into she went into shelters too. And so there’s other things coming out based on what she saw in shelters, what she saw in veterinary practices. So more to come. Great. [01:05:17][19.3]


Live Questions and Answers

Lara: [01:05:18] Now we are not to interrupt, but we are just hitting up on that hour and we got a lot of questions. So I’d like to just jump into them. And before we get started, I know we said Fear Free is available internationally, however, shelters united. There are some international people on this call, so a lot of people are asking Is it available outside of the US now? [01:05:38][20.4]

Mal Schwartz: [01:05:40] It is not at this point in time, but boy, I guess one of my dreams is actually to expand it beyond the country. And for those of you who are in the U.S. and you have an interest, you can visit shelters united dot com or call our 800 eight six four one one three three two to learn more about how you can join or how you can benefit. [01:06:01][20.9]

Lara: [01:06:03] Well, great. So let’s just dove right into some of those questions really quick. Well, we had some time and first question comes from Rose, who asked if there’s any way to list their shelter or rescue facility as your free license? Or is that just for veterinarians? Dr. Becker, Rose is asking if you can only if it’s only veterinarians that can list that they’re fear free license or if shelters can also list that. [01:06:38][8.0]

Dr. Marty Becker: [01:06:38] OK, so what they do is we it’s different. So if you’re a veterinarian, a trainer or a groomer or a pet sitter and seem to be boarding, you can actually you’re actually completing a certification course. So at the end of it, you get a certificate that you are certified the ones with the shelters, you get it your you show a certificate of completion of the course. It’s a little bit of a nuance, but. I hope that answers that [01:07:06][27.7]

Mal Schwartz: [01:07:06] you’re thinking of, you are thinking of expanding that and creating a shelter. Yeah, so [01:07:12][5.8]

Dr. Marty Becker: [01:07:12] so there’s no there’s no reason if you have if you had a there’s nothing to do, there’s nothing to stop somebody from going to. Fear free,, because there’s people we have well over 100, 25000 people that are certified and their veterinarians are veterinary nurses, their receptionists, their kennel attendants, and so they receive a certificate of completion. But if you if you wanted to do that, you would pay for that part. It’s not very expensive. It’s really it’s really. You’d be shocked how low it is. It’s a great value. But then they could be fair, free certified as somebody to say that was in charge of animal handling or the cat person or the veterinarian and stuff like that. But we are we are doing something to where a facility can actually be. You can have Panhandle. Animal shelter could become a fair, free certified shelter and inside you could have people that got the had the completion and others are actually certified and also. [01:08:13][60.9]

Lara: [01:08:15] And we had a lot of discussion in the chat about pheromones, so a lot of people are wondering what pheromones do you recommend? I know your typical protocol of, you know, using the rescue widespread of pheromones. What would you suggest? [01:08:27][11.9]

Dr. Marty Becker: [01:08:28] Well, first of all, I tell you of of 100 of veterinary behaviorists, 70 love them and don’t like them. So I do want to tell you that it’s not without controversy. I look exhaustively at the research and I’m a big fan of pheromones, and I’ve seen it just with, you know, my own eyes and ears, everything with these pets. But the ones that I like the best are adaptable for dogs adapting well and fell away feeling CWA y. And there’s also there’s so adaptable if you can, you know, see my men’s shirt here. Wear these buttons are if you think of the the the better. With nipples going down either side where the buttons are, there’s these sebaceous glands that secrete a fair amount to calm these puppies.

And that’s what adaptable is. It’s a synthetic version of that. The feel away is a synthetic version of the feline cheek pheromones. So when they rub against you or rub against furniture, that’s cheek pheromones. There is a product called Fallaway Multi Cat that is different. It is the the piercing pheromones. So if you think of the Queen, the same thing of the nipples right down here, that is a different pheromones. But what we do is everything we do like I have my stethoscope down here every time. I get done using my stethoscope after each office visit, we wipe it down with rescue and then we wipe back across it with the species that I’m going to see next. So if it’s a dog, it’s adaptable fats cat, it’s feel away. [01:10:02][93.9]

Lara: [01:10:03] And I just had a question actually come in from Maria, will pheromones make dogs urinate? [01:10:07][4.1]

Dr. Marty Becker: [01:10:09] No, no, there’s really it’s fairly funny because you can’t they haven’t they have an alcohol carrier to the Fairmont, so I don’t particularly like the smell of that spray aerosol that’s I usually put it on my on my smock without it wearing it. Or I put it on wear a little bit where I got good airflow. But the cat can’t smell the dog when the dog can’t smell the cat one. The humans can’t smell either of them. And if you put it in your rooms, you know, if you have it in the reception area, put in more than one. And if you have a room like if you have a cat room, make sure the doors are closed so that it builds up in their, you know, shelters and hospitals turned out pretty good airflow. But we have we have it on our clothes, it’s on our instruments, it’s on the pets. You know, if you think of something that no pet has a positive association with a syringe, I can almost say none of them. So if they’re going to give them an injection or vaccination, it’s under a little towel, a little blue light blue towel, pastel colored, and it’s hidden that that towel is sprayed with pheromones as well. [01:11:13][64.3]

Lara: [01:11:15] It’s an interesting question coming from amber asking if dogs can have GI upset from stress pheromones, and is there any information on pheromones decreasing the efficacy of probiotics? [01:11:25][10.8]

Dr. Marty Becker: [01:11:27] No, no, nothing. Nothing, no probiotics. Well, I’ll tell you one thing people often ask, OK, this is going to freak some people out here ready. Our protocol we follow the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicines Treat protocol that they’ve used for over a decade. You’re ready for this one. We try to give 60 treats and a 15 minute exam, so I know people are going, Wow, 60 treats. Wow. At a 15 minute exam. What did he just say? OK, here’s here’s the thing I can take a bag and strip, and I can break that into six pieces one bag and strap. And if I’m using and if I’m used, then squeeze peanut butter. I can make six little dollops at one lick girls. So collectively you’re not giving much and you think that what they’re getting Vienna sausages and spam and turkey and salmon and hot dogs and all that stuff. Well, hey, they don’t live here, right? And and just like when I was in Hawaii for a month, I overate a few times, but you don’t gain three pounds from it hits me. All right. Ohio State University used to track these animals going home. Did they have digestive upset, vomiting, diarrhea? And it was less than the ones that didn’t have it. Because you’re reducing fear, anxiety and stress. So the counter-intuitive save quit, quit tracking it. But and so the others say, Well, what about the pets that have allergies? You have them bring the hypoallergenic treats they give at home or you give marshmallows or you give a hypoallergenic diet that we have, or you use frozen beef billion, just a little Dixie cup with frozen beef billion or chicken broth and just let them lick that.

So there’s nothing. There’s nothing you could think of a question that’s probably not been answered. If you go on, there’s there’s some really good Facebook Facebook group posts and you could post almost anything and get an answer from people that know or wags if you’re free. [01:13:35][127.9]

Lara: [01:13:36] We are getting a lot of follow up questions about the pheromones in the chat and in the interest of time. I don’t know if we have time for all of them, but that’s a great suggestion that if you’re freakin [01:13:45][9.0]

Dr. Marty Becker: [01:13:46] wags it, fair, free, or just if you go through the fear free shelters course. But I’m telling you these these pheromones are are they’re safe, they’re powerful, they’re easy to use. And so you want it, you want it. It’s just that environment, you know, it’s it’s it’s outside on that vertical surface, it’s on those bandanas you put on them, it’s on those cotton balls. You toss in the carrier, it’s on those blankets, it’s on instruments, it’s in the kennels. It’s it’s just ubiquitous. It’s everywhere. So you use the use the virus to get rid of the stuff you don’t want, use the pheromones to add the stuff you do want. [01:14:28][41.7]

Lara: [01:14:29] Yeah, great. Great suggestion. Now I’m going to move on to another topic that we had quite a few questions about where people were asking How do you tell the difference between being sleep and truth sleep? [01:14:42][12.4]

Dr. Marty Becker: [01:14:43] I love how you say about [01:14:44][0.8]

Lara: [01:14:46] so Canadian coming out. [01:14:48][2.0]

Mal Schwartz: [01:14:49] I love I love [01:14:50][1.0]

Dr. Marty Becker: [01:14:50] love that well, so so feign sleep is when one of the things is there, their tail is usually tucked in. It’s a very it’s almost like just think of you sleeping on an airplane that’s feign sleep. You know where you’re aware of everything that’s going on. But you’re you’re you’re kind of your eyes are closed. So you know, they’re I can tell you in. So I’ve been doing now for free for 12 years. You don’t see a pet with with true sleep inside of a veterinary exam room. What you will see then are this is crazy. First time a pet goes into the exam room or goes into a shelter in a certain spot and has that exam, they’re vaccinated. Everything they know which door they leave from. And from that point on, they will always be looking at surging towards laying by leaning towards that door that they escape from what happens in fear free.

And in those situations, you never come in your door, like in the vet, an exam room where there’s two doors. You never come in your door and have to scoop the dog out of the way because it’s waiting to see you come in for free changes that those dogs will actually wait for you to come in to that door. And so chances are, if that dog is laying down with its head down between its legs with its tail up tucked in, they’ll typically have a furrowed brow that is collapsing and mobility and any cat that’s frozen. Those cats that just don’t move was I used to love before fear free. That’s collapsing in mobility. [01:16:23][92.8]

Lara: [01:16:26] And another interesting topic that we the people were looking for a little more information on was that you brought up nose blindness earlier. So are you able to share a little bit more information about that and and any information around how long that typically lasts, [01:16:41][14.6]

Dr. Marty Becker: [01:16:42] so it lasts about a week? So according to the studies that I’ve seen there, it it, it only takes about 60 seconds to happen. So they’re sniffing, Stefan. And, you know, even just think of you can go into my wife. That was the love, the smell of Clorox. So I always think that that smells like it’s really clean, you know? So if you’re ever in a hotel and she smells that, she’s the governments, I love that stuff, but they can detect such low levels of that. But if they come in, it destroys the olfactory neurons up in there inside their nose within about 60 seconds. That lasts about a week. [01:17:17][35.3]

Mal Schwartz: [01:17:18] Wow. [01:17:18][0.0]

Dr. Marty Becker: [01:17:19] So they sniff, but they can’t smell anything. [01:17:20][1.4]

Lara: [01:17:22] So just you just might like to hear liking the smell of Clorox. [01:17:24][2.1]

Mal Schwartz: [01:17:25] Yeah, I know lots. [01:17:26][1.2]

Dr. Marty Becker: [01:17:27] Tracey, I’ve talked to her. Actually, actually, I have to tell you, though, she is the rescue queen. Like, when we travel, she’s wipes the plane down. Whether she wipes what I’ll do, you wipe down with it, Tracy. Oh, all the handles, the phones in the room and everything, so I know it’s not made for, well, it isn’t human because it’s in human hospitals and stuff, but it’s right it’s safe to use. But she’s a big fan in the cars. [01:17:56][29.0]

Lara: [01:17:57] Yeah, I do the same thing. We actually just had a question from Elise over here who’s saying, does Excel Flash Rescue have the same effect on the olfactory nerve? So the question is no, no, [01:18:09][11.7]

Dr. Marty Becker: [01:18:10] no, it doesn’t. That’s a good thing about. And you know, I was a big fan. The people that virus never even knew who I was, but I was such a fan talking about it because it breaks sound into water and oxygen. It’s hydrogen peroxide. How about a different hydrogen peroxide than what you have in your house? But it was the only disinfectant used on the International Space Station. The kind of space? Not.

And you think, how do you heck, you have something that does that that breaks down into water and oxygen? And the one thing I have noticed, Laura, and I’m sure that’s been the experience of some shelters. Sometimes when you first use it, there’s a little bit of a mal odor because it really cleans and and is. But then it’s gone, and it’s really funny, I go to the dentist, they’re using your product, they go to the hospital, they’re using your product, and I don’t know what kind of penetration you have in human health care, but it must be dramatic. [01:19:03][53.0]

Mal Schwartz: [01:19:03] But it’s taken over and over. [01:19:06][2.9]

Dr. Marty Becker: [01:19:07] Very you started. [01:19:07][0.4]

Lara: [01:19:08] That is where we started. I did the same thing. Every time I go into somewhere, I look for it. Yeah, well, we are coming up on. We’ve got a little bit over time, actually. So unfortunately, I know I still see questions coming out. We just don’t have the time for it today. But feel free to visit rescue disinfectants, dot com or therapy shelters or of course, reach out to the shelters, United team, who I’ve seen in the chat here today. And so, first of all, oh sorry, go ahead, Laura. [01:19:38][29.9]

Dr. Marty Becker: [01:19:38] I was just going to say 50. Happy home! is complimentary to all pet parents, so if you’re a shelter rescue, that’s really, you know, you want them to have a forever home, have that pet, be happy and healthy. There’s you know that’s the place to send them because it’s not like your sentence that we’re going to sign him up. For some, it’s all complimentary. So remember that and those questions I keep seeing questions come in about, you know, diabetic dogs.

Can you do treats it just, you know, there’s certain exceptions. So we have them bring the pets in Hungary unless it’s contraindicated. And sometimes that’s for diabetic dog. But really, not really. There’s anything that you think of is probably been answered if you go into two there. And if you have a question like that and you don’t find it, go to Wags at fear free and one of those two hundred and fifty six experts will answer it for you. [01:20:25][47.1]

Lara: [01:20:27] Amazing. Well, but I would just want to say thank you, of course, to you, Dr. Becker, to your mouth for your today’s presentation and thank you everybody for tuning in and staying with us. And then we went a little bit over time. And if you have any additional questions, of course, as I mentioned, you visit rescue disinfectants dot com. We will also be sending out a follow up email to everybody who registered for this webinar with a link to watch the recording and additional resources as well. So on behalf of our team here at virus and our presenters today and shelters united, of course. Thank you for joining us. [01:21:00][33.7]

Mal Schwartz: [01:21:01] Thank you, IRA. Thanks, Larry. Thanks, everybody. And thanks to my rocks and rescue for sponsoring this. It’s really been so fascinating. I learned so much that I didn’t know, and I’m very surprised about that. [01:21:13][11.9]

Dr. Marty Becker: [01:21:15] This has been awesome. Thanks, everybody. They have a blessed. [01:21:18][2.6]

Mal Schwartz: [01:21:19] Take care.

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