Mental stimulation as a tool to enhance canine patient mental wellbeing

01 November 2012
10 mins read
Volume 3 · Issue 9


A kennel environment has been shown to elicit a stress response in animals. This response has been seen in patients during a visit to the veterinary practice. Studies have shown how various aspects of the veterinary experience result in both physiological and behavioural stress responses in dogs. This stress response has also been proven to enhance immunosuppression and increase wound healing time. This article looks at why it is important to understand the potential effects of stress on patients. It also offers a method of reducing stress in patients based on previous research.

In the veterinary environment it is important to not only take care of the patient's physical recovery but also their mental wellbeing. This article looks at previously published research and highlights why it is important to consider mental wellbeing in patients. The article also identifies one method that can be used to enhance the mental wellbeing of inpa-tients through mental stimulation.

It has been stated that the mental wellbeing of patients can effect their quality of life and ultimately their welfare within practice (Yeates, 2012). Yates stresses how important it is to strive for the optimum levels of mental wellbeing to enhance inpatients' welfare.

It has been suggested that a quality of life (QoL) assessment should be undertaken in veterinary practices, as it is in human hospitals, to assess patient welfare (Yeates and Main, 2009). This involves both a physical assessment and a mental assessment. Although the paper does not give a good outline on how to assess a patient's wellbeing it offers an interesting viewpoint of how a patient's wellbeing should be viewed and assessed, indicating the importance of taking into account the mental state of the patient to assess welfare, rather than just assessing the physical wellbeing.

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting The Veterinary Nurse and reading some of our peer-reviewed content for veterinary professionals. To continue reading this article, please register today.