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TCAP C.A.R.E. Restraint Technique

        When you visit TCAP, your safety and the comfort and safety of your pet are paramount. It is important to learn how to properly handle your pet either for a vet visit or while providing at-home care. We believe that with all the smells, sounds and experiences that come with a yearly vet visit, your pet will be most comfortable in your arms. We have developed a simple technique for you to use when restraining your pet to help make your experience at TCAP even better.

What is Restraint?

        Restraint as a word has a slightly negative connotation to it. However, if done properly, your pet can be comfortable and even encouraged while receiving veterinary care. The purpose of restraint is for the safety of all parties involved (your pet, yourself, and the TCAP employees providing care for your pet). Perfect restraint allows your pet to feel comfortable and calm while still preventing him from moving his body while TCAP staff works hard to provide him with preventative care he needs to stay safe and healthy.

C.A.R.E. Technique

        We developed the C.A.R.E. Technique as a tool to help you make your pet’s TCAP visits as smooth and stress-free as possible. There are four components to the C.A.R.E. Technique: Cradle, Arm, Rear, and Encourage. Each part is displayed and explained in greater detail below.

Cradle – Place one hand around your dog’s torso and pull them into your chest to hold her against your body. This part of the technique allows you to have good control of your dog’s movement because they cannot use their paws to push on your arm and out of your restraint. If done properly, this should feel like you are hugging your pet.


Arm – Take your free arm and place it around your dog’s neck and hug their head to your shoulder. Remember to keep her head secure while ensuring that she can still breathe properly. This part of the technique is essential for preventing your pet from reacting defensively when receiving vaccines. Often times, if a pet gets scared enough or if they are not expecting a vaccine injection, they can react by biting at the technician or even (in rare cases) the owner. Keeping their head hugged against your shoulder prevents her from being able to do so.


Rear – Use your elbow to help compress your dog’s body against your torso. Ensure that you leave enough room for our staff to administer the shots she needs. This part of the technique is required so that our staff can quickly administer your pet’s services.


Encourage – You can help soothe your dog’s nerves by petting them with your thumbs and using verbal encouragement. Using your thumbs in this manner allows the rest of your hand to remain focused on keeping your pet still, but still gives you some leeway to comfort your pet. Verbal encouragement here goes a long way as well.


        Practice the technique at home a few times to help your pet get comfortable with the process. Once you are ready, you can test it out to get your pet vaccines, heartworm testing, microchipping or several other wellness services during TCAP’s walk-in vaccine hours: We look forward to seeing you soon!

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