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Updated: May 9

Hi everybody,

I recently interviewed Julie Bezuidenhout from The Dog Club and wanted to

share valuable insight into our conversation.


Provide a Quiet Space

The first thing she said was that having a calm, confident approach as a pet

owner or a veterinary physiotherapist, having a quiet space to work and

repeating a behaviour that makes the patient feel safe.

High Quality Treats

Secondly, she suggested some high quality treats - always having a good quality

treat to work with and snuffle mat, or a way to get a dog distracted from

something that may make them feel uncomfortable like a snuffle mat, licky mat, a

toy - anything that will give a patient a positive drive.

How to improve patient outcomes

The discussion dove into areas of how we can better improve our patient

outcomes, either as pet owner or a vet physio by creating a safe space for our

patient or pet before we start our exercises, or our treatments. If a dog needs to

walk up a driveway that makes them feel uncomfortable or nervous, getting them

to do a behaviour like a sit repeatedly to give them a calm, safe space with a

command, would be appropriate.

She also discussed with me a type of harness or walking technique, having a

double-lead system, so having a dog on a harness where the lead attaches to the

mid-thoracic area and then a collar with a lead, gives a little bit more control

over the neck region, but also supporting the body. When walking a dog just on a

harness, you don’t have the directional support of the double-lead system. It also

gives you more control and makes the pet or patient feel more safe.

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