Colorado State University’s Student Veterinary Behavior Club Hosts Seminar on Low-Stress Animal Handling

A two-part seminar, hosted by Colorado State University students who specialize in animal behavior, will help pet owners reduce the stress their cats and dogs feel, particularly when the pets know they’re headed to the veterinarian or in the veterinary clinic.

It’s not uncommon for some cats to hide at the sight of their carrier, meow all the way to the veterinary clinic, or hiss and swat at the veterinary staff.  Some dogs, although happy to get in the car, won’t get out when they notice the car has arrived at the veterinary clinic. They may tremble during the visit or, worse, growl or try to bite.

The Colorado State University Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior seminar, "Happy Pets, Happy Vets," will help pet owners and veterinary clinic staff reduce animal stress during visits to the veterinarian and other animal professionals. The seminar will be held from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, at the university’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital, 300 W. Drake Road.

From 9 a.m. to noon, Dr. Sophia Yin, a California veterinarian who specializes in animal behavior, will discuss the topics "How to Recognize Brewing Behavior Problems" and "Preventing and Reversing Behavior Problems." The morning lectures, open to the general public, will help pet owners whose animals feel stress during visits to the veterinarian or groomer as well as those who need to medicate or otherwise treat their pets at home on a routine basis before leaving for the appointment.

From 1-5 p.m., Yin will present a hands-on lab for local animal professionals and CSU veterinary students. During lab, participants will learn and practice low-stress animal handling and restraint techniques on stuffed animals as well as live dogs and cats.  

Registration for the general public and local professionals is $10, and the registration deadline is Feb. 19. To register, go to the SCAVSAB Web site at Questions may be directed to  

Yin works at San Francisco Veterinary Specialists in addition to offering house calls for pet behavior problems. She also writes for several veterinary and popular magazines, lectures internationally on animal behavior and has consulted for the Santa Barbara Zoo. Yin is the author of three books, including "Low-Stress Handling, Restraint and Behavior Modification of Dogs and Cats," and serves on the executive board of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior. More information about Yin and animal behavior is on her Web site at

The student chapter of AVSAB is a veterinary student-run organization at Colorado State University. The club’s mission is to provide veterinary students with educational opportunities in animal behavior through lectures and hands-on experiences. The club also offers the local community opportunities to learn about pet behavior through speaking engagements and information on the club Web site and through the sale of training supplies and books.