As pet owners, we want what’s best for our furry friends and are always looking to make sure we’re doing our best for them. However, when it comes to taking them to the veterinarian for their important annual preventive care exam or even for acute care, we can’t help but cringe. Although we know it’s best for them, pet owners and pets all dread going to the veterinarian. But it doesn’t have to be that way…

At Carriage Hills Animal Hospital, we get it. We want to make coming to see us as stress free as possible for your and your pet. We know that the easier it is for both of you, the better health care your pet receives. To that end, we’re proudly working to become a certified Fear Free hospital in 2018.

What is Fear Free?

The fear free movement was started by “America’s Veterinarian” Dr. Marty Becker. At its core, Fear Free is an effort by veterinary professionals and pet owners to make veterinary visits less stressful and safer for pets, owners, and the teams that care for them. This, in turn, can result in better medical care and an overall improved experience for pets and their people.

Fear Free Now and in the Future

Fear Free is currently a certification for individuals, but there is a hospital fear free certification coming in 2018. We’re so excited to be a part of this movement. Fear Free professionals complete intensive training, so they have the tools, resources, and education to reduce feelings of stress before and during a veterinary visit. Fear Free professionals adopt the following measures:

  • Separate waiting areas for different species, eliminating fear and discomfort in the waiting room
  • Non-slip surfaces for your pet to stand on during exams, such as yoga mats or towels
  • Use pheromone and aromatherapy to reduce anxiety
  • Avoid eye contact with your pet, giving them a chance to get comfortable with their surroundings
  • Give lots and lots of small treats to reward your pet
  • Use toys and other techniques to help distract your pet
  • Perform exams and procedures with you in the room (unless you prefer otherwise)
  • Take note of your pet’s emotional response and observe which techniques and treats work the best for your pet

What Makes a Fear Free Practice Different

At a Fear Free hospital, your pet’s emotional well-being is front and center – but that’s not all. Practices that are becoming certified are required to implement certain standards and are subject to an in-person evaluation. The Fear Free standards will be implemented in many different categories, including our physical space, team training, and client education. This will ensure the best possible visit for you and your pet. Although every veterinary visit won’t be completely stress free, it’s our goal to make visits more enjoyable for both of you.

Please call us if you’d like more information about our Fear Free certification and our commitment to this philosophy. We’re excited about this new goal and look forward to sharing more in the year to come!