The Fear Free Difference
10 Things that Make Fear Free Veterinary Visits Different
What do we mean when we say that your veterinary visit is Fear Free? Our Fear Free certified veterinary team members want your pet to be happy when he comes through the door of the clinic.
Fear Free doesn’t mean that your pet will never experience anything uncomfortable at the veterinarian—he may be injured or ill, after all—but it does mean that we make every effort to reduce any fear, anxiety, and stress related to examinations and procedures. Here are 10 ways we help your pet stay comfortable and relaxed from arrival to departure.
The waiting game is over. You can expect to have a large waiting area—no dogs invading your cat’s private space—be given the option of waiting in your car with your pet until you are texted or called to come in, or 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 rubber mat or a warm, pheromone-infused towel.
Relaxation rules. Pheromone and aromatherapy sprays and 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.
Got treats? 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 him from procedures and reward him for cooperation. If your pet has a favorite treat, we encourage you to bring it with you! If your pet has any food related allergies, please let us know so we can accommodate their individual needs.
It’s all fun and games. In addition to treats, our veterinary team members utilize a variety of distraction techniques such as toys to help your pet be comfortable.
No more “White Coat Syndrome” Just like us, our pets can become stressed when the doctor walks into the room. They may associate their white coat with previous negative experiences. You may notice our Fear Free certified veterinarian foregoing the white coat for more friendly, approachable attire. Your pet might not even realize they’ve seen a vet!
“The back” is out. Whenever possible, our Fear Free certified veterinary team members will perform exams and procedures right there in the exam room so your pet will be reassured by your presence and can stay in an environment they’ve already become accustomed to.
A little extra help? If needed, we will prescribe anti-anxiety or other calming medications or supplements to help make the veterinary visit, and everything leading up to it including the car ride, more enjoyable and less frightening for your pet. This may include postponing a current visit that is causing your pet too much fear, anxiety, or stress, until these medications can be implemented.
Emotional rescue. 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.
Owners are the most vital piece of their pet’s health care team so we want you to be knowledgeable and comfortable with everything we do . We encourage you to browse the following educational materials to learn more about fear, anxiety, and stress in your pet and the methods we use to decrease these as much as possible.