What is Fear Free Veterinary Care?

man hugging his fluffy spitz in park

What is Fear Free Veterinary Care?

We have ALL been there.  Dreading the vet visit!  From finding the aloof cat to avoiding the razor-sharp claws when stuffing it into the carrier…to timely wrangling the dog and the youngsters with their toy paraphernalia for the 2:10 p.m. vet appointment…all of the stress involved with just getting there!    Not to mention the chaotic waiting room full of barking unruly dogs on faulty retractable leashes!  How on earth could a vet visit be Fear Free?  And if its true, where on earth do I find this mystical place for my pet’s veterinary care?!

Fear Free 101

The idea behind and the fear free training program created for animal care providers was created by a thoughtful veterinarian named Dr. Marty Becker.  He acknowledged a very real barrier veterinarians face when trying to provide compassionate high-quality care to their patients and clients.  FEAR!  This very natural emotional response creates a significant barrier for a pet to receive the care they deserve.  Fear is the driving force behind 99.999% of all aggressive responses in our household animal companions.  Repetitive experiences that evoke the fear response will push the animal’s fear-based responses to escalate…to the point where the “teeth and claws come out”.  Old school veterinary care strategies have proven this point time and time again.  A perfect example of this phenomena is seen when we force the animal to accept the care we want to provide (nail trim, blood draw, physical exam) by using physical restraint.  The animal’s fear, anxiety, and stress spike to push the animal to choose aggression towards the very people that only want to help!  The Fear Free certification educates the veterinary care team on the delicacies of interpreting animal behaviors and how to handle these behaviors without escalating fear, anxiety, and stress. 

Embracing client and creature comforts at Healing Paws Animal Hospital

Our practice design was created with both you and your beloved pet’s comfort being our number 1 priority.  Not only are all of our veterinary care team members Fear Free Certified, our practice design elevates the fear free experience as well.  We intentionally schedule appointments to allow for timely arrivals and an empty lobby for you to enter our facility.  Soft instrumental music and calming diffusers help build a soothing ambiance to the practice.  Large species-specific exam rooms are provided for you and your beloved pet to receive fear free veterinary handling and care.  We encourage lots of yummy treats to help build a positive connection with our practice, so please bring your furry friend hungry! 😊  Courteous and convenient exam room check out and appointment scheduling along with a side exit provides you and your pet with a VIP fear-free experience without the hustle/bustle of uncertain encounters as end your visit.

The human-animal bond is a strong and beautiful relationship built on unconditional love, faithfulness, and trust.  What if your veterinary care provider could help your beloved pet’s physical health without damaging their psychological health?  Have no fear!  Fear Free veterinary care is here!