Fear Free Is The Way To Be!

Telford Veterinary Hospital is embarking on a new and exciting journey in Veterinary medicine. Our Mission will always be to strengthen the human and animal bond within our community. We cannot achieve this mission without considering and treating your pet’s emotional well-being along with their physical well-being. We have been hard at work over the past year incorporating Fear Free techniques and philosophies into our everyday practice. This year we’re taking it one step further!

Over the past year, our entire leadership team, our Doctors, and several nurses have all become certified Fear Free practitioners. We are excited to announce that we are on course to become a Fear Free Certified Practice by 2021! So, what does this all mean for you and your beloved pet? Let’s take a look at how Fear Free medicine positively impacts your pet’s experience at the vet, and every experience at the vet thereafter.

What is Fear Free®?

Founded and developed by Dr. Marty Becker, in conjunction with hundreds of experts in behavior, medicine, and handling; Fear Free has become one of the single most transformative initiatives in the history of companion animal practice. Veterinary professionals are taking into consideration your pet’s emotional health at every moment of their trip to the Vet and at home.

It all starts at home

Having our clients fill out a  pre-visit questionnaire to gather information on their pet’s preferences allows us to make the experience as comfortable as possible even before they hop in the car! This information allows us to provide the support they need to get to the vet without anxiety. We may suggest training techniques to work with them prior to a visit, or, maybe we need to prescribe a mild anti-anxiety medication to administer prior to the visit. Some pets prefer to wait out in the grass, rather than in the busy lobby…we’ve got you covered! We remind you to bring your pet to their appointment hungry! Why? Because we have a smorgasbord of tasty treats to distract and reward them during their visit with us! If they are hungry, eating that tasty spray cheese that is smeared on the mat under their nose is way more important to them than the little pinch of their vaccine injection! Tell us what their favorite treat is! Bring high-value treats along with you (we’re talking tuna, hot dogs, cheese, and liverwurst here!) Maybe they are more motivated by toys than treats! Bring that favorite tennis ball along! We’ll break out the feather wand for your active kitten as a distraction. These seemingly little things can make the world of difference in your pet’s emotional health, and it allows us to provide great care!

We’re at the Vet, now what?

When you arrive, we’ll break out their pre-visit questionnaire and our receptionists will utilize it to appropriately direct you! If your pet prefers to wait in the car, we’ll take down your information and call you when your nurse is ready. At every arrival to our lobby, we encourage you to borrow one of our calming aids for your pet while they wait with you for their appointment. For dogs, we provide a pheromone-infused bandana to wear. For cats, we’ll ask that you cover their crate with a pheromone-infused blanket.  These aids begin the process of easing any anxiety that may, or may not, occur during their visit with us.

Once your pet is settled in an exam room, we do our best to keep them in that environment for the entire visit. Less chance of scenery has been proven to reduce FAS (fear, anxiety, and stress) in pets. Our nurse will assess every visit your pet’s FAS level. This level guides our treatment plans for the day. If your pet is cool as a cucumber, it’s smooth sailing for the appointment. If your pet is a little unsure of what is going on, we proceed slowly, one step at a time. This means we will not force your pet beyond their comfort levels with us to “just get it done.” Can we do that, yes; however, this is not the way it should be done. This means, we may not be able to get his nails trimmed, but because we didn’t push Fido past his emotional limit, we can schedule another visit to take care of that with ease! This new thinking in Veterinary care is changing pets’ lives for the better. They no longer slink in the door, tail tucked and ears back; now they trot into the office and excitedly greet our reception staff. They now run down the hallway to the exam room. Positive reinforcement breeds positive future experiences. The change may not come overnight but, the more we practice, the better it gets!

Does it really help?

We have seen so many success stories over the past year as we have transitioned to offering Fear Free solutions for our clients and their pets. The Telford Veterinary Hospital staff is determined to provide the highest level of care for you and your pet. When you join us on this journey we know you’ll see the difference! Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing stories of successes and pets that have made great strides in having a positive experience at Telford Veterinary hospital!

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