You may have noticed in the hospital, or on our online sites, posters and signs referencing Fear Free. So what is Fear Free?
Fear Free is a training and certification program that helps veterinarians modify their procedures, handling, and facilities to help pets feel safe and comfortable while receiving the medical care they need.
At some point in our life, I’m sure we have all felt a little anxiety when going to our own dentist or doctor….well imagine if your dentist or doctor not only did not speak your language, but the minute you walked in, he yelled at you (in a deep booming voice), “Sit!” Then without saying a word, he poked you, pulled your ears, opened your mouth, stared into your eyes, and felt all parts of your body… and then when you finally thought it was all over…he gave you a bunch of injections! Not exactly an experience you would get excited about.
At Eastridge, we have always been aware of this problem, and we’ve always tried to find ways to minimize your pet’s stress during their visit – whether it is gentle handling, lowering ourselves to their level, or offering treats – Fear Free is just an expansion of how we have always practiced. It just gives our techniques a formal name and provides us with additional resources to expand our skills and facilities.
In fact, we believe in the program so much that not only did every employee at Eastridge, The Little Cat Clinic, and Healthy Paw Rehab get trained and certified in Fear Free methods and techniques, but we were THE FIRST CLINIC IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY (and possibly the first in the state) to have everyone certified.
To become certified, veterinarians and veterinary staff are required to complete a comprehensive, 8-part educational course and exam. They also have to take continuing education to remain certified.
The Fear Free initiative was first developed by “America’s Veterinarian,” Dr. Marty Becker, and aims to “take the ‘pet’ out of ‘petrified’” and get pets back for veterinary visits by promoting considerate approach and gentle control techniques used in calming environments. He developed the program with the assistance of board-certified veterinary behaviorists, veterinary technician behavior specialists, board-certified veterinary anesthetists, well-known veterinary practice management experts, and boarded veterinary practitioners experienced in Fear Free methods.
These methods and protocols are intended to reduce or remove anxiety triggers, which creates an experience that is rewarding and safer for all involved including pets, their owners, and veterinary health care teams. Learn more at www.fearfreepets.com