What do we mean when we say that a veterinary visit is Fear Free? A veterinary team member who is Fear Free® certified wants your pet to be happy when he or she comes through the clinic’s door.
A Cut Above The Rest
We require all of our employees to become Fear Free® certified. The rigorous certification program ensures that the entire team learns how to handle fearful, anxious, or stressed-out pets in the kindest possible way. Together, we work to safeguard the emotional wellbeing of our patients, clients, and team members. Fear Free® certified Professionals are a cut above the rest when it comes to caring for your best friend.
Fear Free doesn’t mean that your pet will never experience anything uncomfortable at the veterinarian. After all, he or she may be injured or ill, but it does mean that we make every effort to reduce any fear, anxiety, and stress related to examinations and procedures. Here are ten ways we help your pet stay comfortable and relaxed from arrival to departure:
The waiting game is over.
Although we don’t have a species-specific waiting area, we give you the option of waiting in your car with your pet until you are texted or called to come in and be taken right into the exam room.
No more sitting on slick, cold surfaces.
Your pet will have a nonslip surface to stand on, such as a yoga mat or a pheromone-infused towel.
Pheromone and aromatherapy diffusers emit calming substances into the air, and pet-friendly music works its calming effect on the central nervous system. You might benefit, too.
Eye contact is for you, not your pet.
Fear Free® certified veterinary team members will initially avoid eye contact with your pet and focus on you instead. This helps your pet feel less stressed because he’s not the center of attention and gives him time to check out his environment and become accustomed to the team member’s presence.
Bring your dog or cat in hungry because Fear Free® certified veterinary team members will be handing out many small but delicious treats throughout the visit to welcome your pet, distract them from procedures and reward them for cooperation.
Bright white can be startling to animals, so Fear Free® certified veterinary professionals wear lab coats and scrubs that aren’t white.
In addition to treats, our veterinary team members utilize a variety of distraction techniques (such as toys) to help your pet be comfortable.
“The back” is out
Whenever possible, our Fear Free® certified veterinary team members will perform exams and procedures right there in the exam room. Your presence will reassure your pet, you can assist as needed, and you’ll have the assurance that they will be treated kindly and respectfully.
A little extra help
If needed, we will prescribe anti-anxiety or other calming medications or supplements to help make the car ride and the visit more enjoyable and less frightening for your pet.
Our veterinary team members will note your pet’s emotional response to the visit and what treats and techniques worked best to reduce any fear, anxiety, and stress that may have been expressed. This will help to make future visits even better.