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A fear free certified veterinarian is good pet care.

Can you imagine bringing your dog or cat in for a vet visit where every possible effort is made to minimize or eliminate fear, anxiety, and stress? Look no further! The staff members of the Rutland Veterinary Clinic have recently become Fear Free Certified, and we are proud of it!

All About Fear Free

As we get better at understanding animal behavior, we appreciate more and more how fear, anxiety, and stress can affect the health and well-being of our pets. For many of our patients, these problems are amplified when visiting the veterinarian. As a group of professionals who are dedicated to helping animals, this is just not acceptable to us.

In 2016 the Fear Free Initiative was founded in order to help veterinarians and other animal industry professionals to better recognize, prevent, and help pets have a better experience while in our facilities and at home.  This panel of 160 members contains experts in areas like animal behavior, anesthesia, and even industry representatives and has helped to formulate guidelines and best practice recommendations for veterinary hospitals.

During our recent certifications, we were eager to meet the standards set out by the panel. This means that we can offer your pets a truly Fear Free experience. Some of the standards met include:

  • Completion of module online courses by all of our veterinary staff and the majority of support staff.
  • A demonstrated commitment to continued education in Fear Free practices by our staff.
  • Record keeping and client communication that supports the minimization of fear, anxiety, and stress.
  • Procedures and practices that support the well-being of the pet while accomplishing necessary treatments and testing.

Meeting these goals requires significant time and energy, but we are dedicated to doing better for our pet patients.

What Fear Free Certified Means to You

Our efforts to minimize the stress and anxiety many pets experience while visiting the vet are often noticeable to our clients right away. Having a team of Fear Free Certified members has made a tremendous impact for many of our patients, and helps us to do a better job for you and your pets.

You may notice:

  • That we ask a lot of questions about your pet’s behavior, likes, and dislikes to help us personalize your experience.
  • The recommendation to bring your pet hungry- food motivation can help us to accomplish a lot. Feel free to bring a favorite treat or toy.
  • That we may prioritize items on the to-do list as wants and needs. A fearful pet may be asked to come back at another time for something like a cosmetic nail trim if more urgent matters need addressed in order to minimize stress.
  • We also use safe pheromones to help pets feel better in our hospital.
  • Recommendations for mild anti-anxiety medications for vet visits when appropriate to helps pets have a better experience and decrease the need for forceful handling.
  • We may take longer with your pet, giving them time to acclimate and be a voluntary participant in the visit.

We are so impressed with the changes a Fear Free approach has made in our vet visits, and we hope that you will be our partners in helping to make a difference in the way veterinary medicine is practiced. Don’t hesitate to call and ask us for more information.