There’s something about taking your pet to the vet (especially the family cat) that evokes trepidation. You may have lucked out with the most friendly, fearless dog or cat around, but for many pets, change – coupled with a new environment – can be scary.
Gone are the days when we just had to “grin and bear” the experience with our furry pals. Modern veterinary medicine is outpacing the ways we approach physical health and is now ahead of the curve when it comes to the emotional wellbeing of animals.
What is Fear Free Certification?
Based on the findings of veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker, Fear Free is a program that responds to the emotional wellbeing of pet patients. Studies from Bayer Veterinary Healthcare in 2014 found that 37 percent of dog owners and 58 percent of cat owners reported their pets were afraid of going to the vet.
What’s alarming about these statistics is that for many pet owners, their pets do not receive preventive care, which is necessary to maintain good health. In some cases, this may also mean a disease or other condition goes untreated.
For these reasons, Fear Free was developed as an educational initiative for pet owners and veterinarians to encourage a calmer, more relaxing, and ultimately successful experience with veterinary visits.
Drawing on the knowledge and expertise of veterinarians and animal behaviorists, the Fear Free Program teaches the following skills:
- Gentle handling techniques
- Recognizing subtle cues of anxiety and stress
- Creating positive association with examinations
- Creating a calm environment
The Advantages of a Fear Free Practice
For us, our commitment to a Fear Free practice goes far beyond the required coursework. It’s our goal to partner with all pet owners to identify stressors that prevent their pets from having a positive experience and work toward creating a successful one.
Some of our low-stress, comforting techniques include:
- Quiet areas
- Pheromone use, which can calm cats and dogs
- Gentle restraint (when needed)
- Soothing, calm exam rooms
- Toys, treats, and plenty of attention to encourage positive association
Along with our Fear Free certification, we’re also a Cat Friendly Practice!
Is Your Pet Anxious?
We know it’s tough to witness a beloved pet in distress. However, annual and follow-up care is critical to your pet’s health, quality of life, and longevity. There are many ways we can help you prepare for your next visit with us. At-home behavior modifications and reward-based training can do wonders!
If you’d like to learn more about our Fear Free certification and our approach to holistic veterinary care, we welcome your call! Emotional wellness matters, and we’re here to make you and your sweet pet as comfortable as possible.