Key Facts: First Aid Hour

Once you have arranged the referral, if you require urgent advice, you can book in a preliminary telephone or Zoom discussion with one of our senior behaviourists.  This allows the senior behaviourist to offer first aid advice and assess your needs.  This hour is only intended to provide you with preventative, prophylactic management advice to help you and your pet cope until a full assessment is made.

When:  generally we are able to offer a telephone appointment within 7 working days of you requesting them, but we will prioritise clients according to the severity of their pet’s welfare needs and the risks involved.

Where:  over the phone or online via Zoom or similar with one of our senior behaviourists.

What you need to do to prepare:

□          Get your vet to complete the referral form through our web site, or ask them to post, email or fax it to us;

□          Complete and return the questionnaire at least 48 hours before your appointment;

□          Without putting your pet under any further stress and while ensuring your own and others’ safety, take a video recording, or any other form of recording (e.g. diary) of the behaviour;

□          Read the safety precautions below.

What we will do:

  • The triage call lasts between 30-60 minutes. To make best use of time, please return all the material requested well in advance of your appointment so that we can prepare for your call.
  • Over the phone or on Zoom, one of our senior behaviourists will ask you a series of simple questions to gauge the situation you and your pet find yourselves in.
  • This will allow your behaviourist to make a preliminary risk assessment, but we will not be able to assess the reasons behind the behaviour at this stage.
  • The behaviourist will provide basic, first aid advice with the primary aim of keeping everyone as safe as possible until we are able to see you for a full behaviour consultation. The secondary aim is to prevent the behaviour problem from becoming worse as much as possible.  This advice often includes simple changes around your home environment and describes a different way to approach your animal.  This advice is only intended to be implemented as short term measures.  It will not ‘fix’ the behaviour.
  • The behaviourist will send a summary of the outcome of your call to your referring vet, which you will be copied into.
  • If you need any further support, you will need to book into one of our other behaviour services.

Safety for you and your pet:

  • Any information regarding the pet’s health and/or existing medical conditions/treatment must be disclosed prior to any consultation, or training, or supply of equipment. Where relevant any health issues regarding you, the handler, should also be disclosed to avoid injury and other issues pertaining to the services/equipment supplied.
  • Any information regarding behaviour issues in relation to your pet MUST be freely disclosed for example, fear, aggression, pet’s previous behaviour history etc. Failure to do so could cause serious harm to your pet, you the owner, your behaviourist, or other members of the public.
  • Children, friends and family members are welcome to join in with consultations – this is at your own discretion. All involved must also comply with the Health and Safety recommendations advised herein and to take proper reasonable care during and after the consultation. We accept no liability for the health and safety of those you choose to involve.
  • Children must always be supervised when around animals and you should take proper care to ensure that they do NOT attempt to replicate any training, or behavioural modification recommendations on your pet without proper, adult supervision. This applies in all cases, even if the children have been actively involved with behavioural consultations or training sessions with Second Nature Behaviour.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure that your pet does not harm in the future. You may wish to consider taking out third party insurance for your pet.
  • Second Nature Behaviour does not endorse the use of physical punitive correction. Our welfare and protection policy is that any health or welfare issues found to be of concern will be reported to the local government authority and RSPCA inspector, or local Police where appropriate. We also reserve the right to notify the appropriate authorities if our advice is repeatedly ignored and we believe there is a risk of harm to members of the public or of your household.
  • In emergency situations for your animal, please call your vet straightaway.

How to get the best results:
It is important for you to follow all the verbal advice given over the phone to maximise the chances of keeping everyone safe, while maximising animal welfare and preventing the behaviour problem from becoming worse.  The strategies provided over the phone though are limited and only suitable for the short-term.  A full behaviour consultation is required for a proper, more accurate assessment to be made of your pet.  Then a full behaviour modification plan (BMP) for your pet’s long term treatment can be designed.  Through ongoing communications with your behaviourist, the BMP can then be modified as the animal’s behaviour develops. Each animal is different and it may take a long time, dependent upon individual needs of the animal and your own circumstances. Therefore, whilst we will do our very best to assess the animal’s behaviour and make recommendations, success is not guaranteed and we cannot be held responsible if the animal’s behaviour does not improve or change.

Cost and payment terms:
The ‘First Aid Hour’ call fee is £150. This type of booking is secured by a full payment in advance, which can be paid over the phone or online. Call fees are non-refundable due to the resources that need to be organised for your pet for the day.