What Is Fear-Free and Why is it Important?
Coming to the vet is too often a stressful experience for your pet. As the pet parent, you know your cat or dog can become anxious, fearful, and sometimes even violent if pushed too far beyond their comfort zone. Not only is this a negative experience for you and your pet, but the veterinary staff have a hard time giving any pet a proper exam when they are jumpy, irritable, and afraid. The Fear Free Certified Professionals program gives veterinary professionals a special set of tools to help recognize fear and alleviate it.
Directly Impacting Pet’s Experiences (and Health!)
Just like for our health, stress is damaging over time, so the more we can reduce it for our pets, the better. Additionally, as mentioned before, a fearful, untrusting pet is harder to examine than a calm, cooperative one. When we examine a relaxed pet, bloodwork and other vital readings such as heart rate, respiratory rate, and temperature are all much more accurate. Furthermore, for diagnostic imaging such as X-ray or ultrasound, it is much less likely that we would have to sedate your pet at all if they are already at ease.
We want the veterinary experience to always be a positive one for your pet. With lots of tasty treats, pheromone sprays and other calming routines, your pet can learn to love their veterinary appointments! However, giving your pet a great experience isn’t all on us! There are many things you can do, too.
Prepping Your Pet for a Positive Visit
As with most things, it’s best to start your pet young. Make each veterinary appointment from first visit onward, a positive experience by offering your pup treats when you get here. Walk them around outside if you have to wait and give them a treat again when you we’re ready to see you. Then, our Fear Free Certified staff can take over with more treats, calming tactics and plenty of love.
For cats, it can be best to wait in the car rather than the lobby, but as a Cat Friendly Practice, we know how to make cats feel at ease, too. In addition, you can place a sheet or towel over the carrier so as not to have any visual of other animals in the practice. To help you get your cat here, leave their carrier out instead of storing it away at home. When they are left to come in and out and explore it, they are then much less flustered when forced to go in it.
Our goal is to do everything we can— including empowering you! —to make each visit to our animal hospital a pleasant, enriching experience for both you and your pet. Positive experiences yield better health!
Find out more about the Fear Free Certification at fearfreepets.com