A friend of Wild Love Tails, Carol, introduced us to a relatively new concept in pet care that focuses on making veterinary clinics and hospitals fear free for pets and their humans. We did a little digging and we were hooked on the concept.
Let’s explore the concept of Fear Free and share with you what we have found.
The concept of was the brainchild of Dr. Marty Becker, often referred to as “America’s Veterinarian.” Along with being involved in many other pet and animal causes, Dr. Becker is the founder of Fear Free®. The mission of Fear Free® is to prevent and alleviate fear, anxiety, and stress in pets by inspiring and educating the people who care for them.
Harlin Valley Animal Hospital in Knoxville, Tennessee is an approved Fear Free® clinic and they are walking the walk and talking the talk when it comes to implementing the concept.
Here Are 10 Things We Love About The Concept:
Better Environment – designed or re-designed waiting areas, patient rooms and guest spaces that feel more like home, easing everyone’s anxiety.
Smart Flooring – slick, sterile floors are replaced with non-slip, textured floors that makes getting around much easier for 4-legged and 2-legged friends alike.
Unique Furniture – exam tables are replaced with “home” style furniture, pet-friendly accessories and pet-sized pieces.
Great Taste – treats and more treats encourage pets to enjoy a trip to the clinic with rewards from all of the caregivers, changing the relationship immediately.
Low Smell – pets are very sensitive to scents and smells and taking care to use cleaning and odor reducing scents that are natural, non-toxic and do not over-stimulate pets will ease their senses.
Cohesive Team – assign a team of caregivers to each pet to ensure that all areas of care of applied by experts.
Cats Only – separate spaces to enter and care for cats will greatly reduce stress when it comes to mixing the animals when they are not used to being in the same spaces.
Extra Care Details – consideration is taken when it comes to caring for aging pets, anxious and terrified pets. Scales located at ground level, low-profile furniture and extra care for pet owners of aging pets.
Above and Beyond Flexibility – working with pets and their parents to make the visit the best possible. Examine cats in their travel carriers or atop a cat tree or sitting next to a pup on the sofa and clipping nails.
Many Options – not all pets are created equal, even if they are the same breed, the same age and the same weight. Each pup or kitty has their own personality, schedule and comfort level, offering different options for care, examinations and follow-up makes a huge difference.
If you love these ideas and want to find a pet clinic or hospital in your area that is certified Fear Free® or would like to become certified, visit their website.
The biggest takeaways we found are the reminders that every pet can and should be treated individually; pet visits to a Veterinary Clinic do not have to feel like you are walking into a sterile hospital; and creating a welcoming environment for pets and people will enhance overall mental and physical health in our pets and we know that translates to their people.