We have exciting news to share! Our clinic is officially certified and recognized as a fear free clinic – which also means that all of our staff are certified as well. We already strive to keep pets happy and minimally stressed upon their visits with us, although, you will notice a few positive changes around our clinic. We are always looking for ways to make your furry friends visit even more comfortable and positive than the last. Now a question you may be asking yourself is what does becoming a fear free clinic exactly entail? Below we will dive into more detail and talk about what you should expect upon your next visit with us!
What is fear free?
Fear free is an organization that was initially established by an American Veterinarian named Dr. Marty Becker in 2016. Once the idea of practicing “fear free” took off, hundreds of experts in animal behaviour/handling and veterinary medicine from all over the world joined together to create an educational platform for veterinary professionals, pet professionals and pet owners. The fear free program was designed to educate individuals on how to create the best atmosphere for a pets physical and mental well being. The official mission statement of fear free “is to prevent and alleviate fear, anxiety, and stress in pets by inspiring and educating the people who care for them.”
Fear free has multiple different training programs that suit the needs for any pet professional – there are specific training modules for every setting including veterinary hospitals, grooming centres, shelter medicine, canine training, and pet sitters as well. The program is a global initiative to create the most stress free environment possible for your companions in different settings. Our staff have not only been trained to prevent fear, stress and anxiety in the clinic but also to recognize signs of escalating stress and find the proper ways to intervene.
The Fear Free website also provides great information on topics owners may be interested in learning more about, such as: nail trims at home, separation anxiety, traveling, getting your cat accustomed to his/her carrier without stress among many more. The link for the Fear Free website will be linked at the bottom of this article.
What changes will we see within the clinic?
To begin, once you enter the clinic and have been greeted by our receptionist, we will ask all dog owners to bring their pet directly to the scale for an updated weight and then promptly escort you into the proper exam room. For cats, all weights will be taken within the exam room. We will have rooms solely dedicated to our canine friends and separate ones for our feline friends to reduce stress by separating the two species. Both of our feline and canine exam rooms will utilize calming pheromone therapy via a diffuser to create a stress free environment.
We will make sure to always take it slow with your pets and be mindful of any specific triggers they may have (for example, some pets may not like their back end being handled or only like female or male staff members). We will gauge your pets behavior in the clinic and modify our approach based on their level of fear, stress and anxiety. Sometimes, if a pet exhibits high levels of fear, stress and anxiety in clinic the veterinarian may recommend they return after receiving a mild dose of oral sedation or pre-visit pharmaceuticals to help ease those feelings. This can benefit the owner, pet and staff during the visit and create a much more positive experience. This can be tailored to each individual patient.
If your pet has any special preferences prior to entering the clinic please let us know!
To make the visit more enjoyable for your pet please feel welcome to bring your pet their favourite treats or toys if it is appropriate for the visit! We want your pet to feel as comfortable as possible during their appointment.
Below are some great info graphs to read prior to coming into our clinic for your next visit!
How to make the trip to the vet hospital fear free:
Preventing separation anxiety:
Getting your dog ready for a blood draw:
Teach your cat to go into the carrier without a struggle:
Above are just a few of the helpful articles that you can find from Fear Free. If you are interested in a certain topic, please visit their website at Fear Free Happy Homes for more information!
Website for Fear Free Happy Homes:
If you have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to send us an email or give us a call anytime at 519-893-8937!