Veterinary appointments are often stressful for you and your animal companion. Doctor visits are unpleasant for us, too. Accordingly, our veterinary staff became Fear Free℠ certified to alleviate, as much as possible, the trauma and stress that occurs when you bring your pet to us for treatment.
But what does Fear Free Certification really mean, exactly? Fear Free Certification provided our veterinary team with a comprehensive understanding of stress, its triggers, and, most importantly, methods and practices to effectively minimize the stress that your animal may experience at home, during transport, and at the veterinary hospital.
Our Fear Free training has enabled us to reduce stress triggers in our reception and waiting area, exam room, and in-hospital care. More importantly, our delivery of treatment is intimately informed by our Fear Free training.
Examples of how we minimize stress for your pets include but are not limited to:
- Separate dog and cat waiting areas, with a visual block to make them feel secure.
- Elevated areas for cat carriers because floors are scary and can smell weird to cats.
- Pastel-colored walls throughout the clinic because studies have shown that these can provide a calming effect on animals, rather than white or dark colors.
- Rugs for traction - slippery surfaces are scary for dogs.
- Pheromone diffusers in all rooms, boarding areas, and waiting areas for calming effect, as well as pheromone-sprayed bandanas available to dogs and towels for cats.
- Multiple types of treats provided and encouraged before, during, and after exams and procedures.
- Exams done on the floor for medium and large dogs to minimize stress up on the exam table.
- A heated, padded surface for cat exams, which cats prefer over cold, slippery stainless steel tables.
- Provided cat hiding places during exams, boarding, and hospitalization. Hiding is a very important tool cats use to de-stress, so we allow them to easily do so.
- Small gauge, sharp, new needles used for all vaccines and blood draws.
- Less restraint for blood draws and vaccines, using distractions and positive reinforcement more than force.
- Pain control used before, during, and after all procedures and surgeries. We use numbing cream before placing IV catheters, injectable pain medication before catheters, local nerve blocks, injectable pain medication while your pet is under anesthesia, and oral pain medication to go home after surgeries. We don’t want your pet associating us or the facility with a painful experience.
As we’ve said before, at Furever Family Veterinary Care Center, your pets are our passion. This passion is exemplified through our Fear Free certified facility and treatment protocols.
For more information about Fear Free certified care, please visit fearfreepets.com.