Fears & Anxieties Veterinary Care

Why Fear Free Care Is the Right Choice for Your Pet

Share on
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Many pet owners have experienced the heart-rending sight of their beloved furry friend trembling, hiding, or acting out of character due to the fear and anxiety of a trip to the veterinarian. These reactions can be distressing for both the pet and the owner. Thankfully, there’s a revolutionary approach reshaping the veterinary landscape: Fear Free care.

Here are the top reasons why Fear Free Certified Practices and Certified Professionals benefit pets and their people.

  1. An Emphasis on Emotional Well-being
    Vet visits traditionally focus primarily on physical health, but Fear Free care recognizes that emotional well-being is equally essential. When your pet is fearful it affects them physically as well. By attending to a pet’s emotional state, we ensure that we’re addressing the entire health spectrum.
  2. More Consistent Regular Care
    Studies have shown that many pet owners avoid regular wellness care visits due to the anticipated stress. Fear Free care aims to change this. With reduced anxiety, more pets can benefit from preventive care, catching potential issues before they become significant problems.
  3. Gentle Handling and Positive Associations
    Fear Free professionals are trained to move slowly, talk quietly, progress at your pet’s pace, avoid direct eye contact initially, and use positive distractions, such as treats, toys, and gentle petting. This results in a more relaxed pet that feels comfortable in the veterinary setting.
  4. Safer Vet Visits for All
    When your pet isn’t highly stressed, they are far less likely to struggle, bite, or scratch – potentially injuring themselves, you, or the veterinary team. Because Fear Free practitioners ensure that each pet they treat isn’t experiencing prolonged periods of high stress, visits are safer for all involved.
  5. More Accurate Exams & Test Results
    Because stress affects your pet physically, it can cause their exam and test results to be less accurate. If your pet regularly enters “fight or flight mode” during their vet visit, this can create confusion as to whether there is a true medical problem or if an altered value is simply the result of excessive stress. With Fear Free, a less-stressed pet means more accurate physical exams and diagnostics testing.
  6. Empathy and a Common Language

The descriptions used in the Fear Free approach emphasize understanding your pet’s point of view. Terms like “fractious cat” or “aggressive dog” place the blame on your pet, so Fear Free professionals avoid those terms. Instead, they focus on recognizing that undesirable behaviors stem from fear and they address the root cause. Fear Free uses an objective scale and a common language among all caregivers to describe the behaviors your pet displays and their corresponding level of comfort.

  1. Medications and Supplements When Needed
    For pets who are showing serious signs of stress, Fear Free Certified Veterinarians may prescribe calming medications or supplements. Instead of ignoring your pet’s indicators of stress, Fear Free Certified Professionals will take measures to help make your pet more comfortable.
  2. Less-Stressful Wait Times
    One common major stressor at the vet is the waiting area. Fear Free Certified Practices may offer species-specific zones, separate entrances, or will encourage you and your pet to wait safely in the car until a room is ready for you. This means your cat won’t have a boisterous dog invading its space, reducing the potential for heightened stress.
  3. Calming Environments to Set the Stage
    From pheromone and aromatherapy that infuse calming odors into the air to pet-friendly classical music and non-slip surfaces to stand on, designed to reduce your pet’s fear of falling, the Fear Free environment is created to soothe.
  4. Help for the Car Ride, Too!
    Fear Free care starts at home. With the right coaching from a Fear Free Certified Professional, your pet can be comfortable long before they reach the clinic. The Fear Free approach includes helping you enrich their environment, prepare your vehicle for them, and create a positive association with the carrier and car ride, ensuring your pet is calm and comfortable when they arrive at the vet.

In conclusion, Fear Free care is not merely a trend; it’s a paradigm shift in veterinary care that recognizes the intricate link between emotional and physical health. As more pet owners become aware of its benefits, it’s no wonder they’re seeking out practices that prioritize the holistic well-being of their companions.

Want to stay in the loop on the latest and greatest in keeping your pet happy and healthy? Sign up for our free newsletter by clicking here!

Recent Articles

View and Search All Available Content >