fear free vetThe pets we know and love have profound reactions to the world around them. We can make the case that pets respond positively to various stimuli (think walks in the woods, laser pointers, snuggles on a cold night), so it only makes sense that they react in kind to stressful or traumatic events.

Fortunately, the national trend that honors an animal’s emotional state is growing – and fast! With a fear free vet, your pet no longer endures those “red light” moments of acute stress or anxiety when traveling to our practice. Indeed, your pet may even look forward to routine visits.

A Meaningful Link

It’s been well documented that veterinary visits can cause psychological damage to some pets. In fact, visits for these animals may be similar to what we’d experience if we were abducted by, say, aliens from a distant galaxy.

When pets have repeated exposure to an experience linked to a negative or traumatic event, it’s not easy to erase or reverse.

A Fear Free Vet

A fear free vet practice is deeply committed to reducing the potential stress, fear, or anxiety related to visits. Cats are famous for resisting their travel kennels and have great difficulty relaxing in the presence of dogs or other felines. Unfortunately, these adverse reactions play into the elimination of health-sustaining wellness visits altogether.

In fact, a study confirmed that almost 40% of dog owners and nearly 60% of cat owners report their pets hate going to the vet. We strive to stop those numbers from climbing with our certification of fear free vet techniques.

The Process

The staff at Clairmont Animal Hospital have signed up to become a certified fear free vet practice in order to serve our community in a calm, compassionate way. Our training includes:

  • Learning about and applying gentle, fear free handling techniques that are proven to reduce stress
  • Very little or no restraint when examining or treating a pet
  • More time with each animal (this gives a pet more time to relax and build trust and a positive association)
  • Tasty treats to keep pets occupied during examinations, blood draws, and vaccinations
  • Methods of counter conditioning (like distracting a pet from potentially negative stimuli)
  • Species-specific pheromone sprays in each exam room (can also be applied to kennels or towels draped over crates while waiting)
  • Separate waiting and exam rooms for cats and dogs
  • Skid free mats on exam tables
  • Getting on the pet’s level (if he or she doesn’t like the table, we’ll get down on the floor)
  • Knowledge and prescription of various supplements or medications that can minimize stress, fear, or anxiety

Restored Trust

As a fear free vet, we aim to restore the trust necessary between us and pet owners. Fear when crated, traveling, and being treated can undoubtedly lead to trauma which can, in turn, reduce the care that so many animals need to stay healthy. Without the care and treatment of a fear free vet, many pets may lead shorter lives.

A better shared experience can result in complete care. Who could argue with that? As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.