What do we mean when we say that a veterinary visit is Fear Free? A veterinary team member who is Fear Free Certified® wants your pet to be happy when he comes through the doors of the clinic.
Fear Free doesn't mean that your pet will never experience anything uncomfortable at the veterinarian as they may be injured or ill. Our team are capable of reducing fear, anxiety, and stress from the examinations and procedures. Here are some ways to help your pet stay comfortable and relaxed upon arrival till departure.
- The waiting game is over.
You can expect to have a species-specific 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 yoga mat or a warm, pheromone-infused towel.
- Relaxation rules.
Pheromone and aromatherapy 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, to distract them from procedures and rewarding them after.
- Color therapy.
Bright white can be startling to animals. Pastels are more soothing, so veterinary professionals wear lab coats and scrubs in those shades, playing doctor. In addition to treats, our veterinary team members utilize a variety of distraction techniques, such as toys, to help your pet be comfortable.
- A little extra help?
If needed, we will prescribe anti-anxiety or other calming medications or supplements to help make the car ride and the visit less frightening for your pet.
- 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.