From the October 2017 issue

The Benefits of Fear Free Veterinary Care

VCA Animal Hospitals strive to take the 'pet' out of 'petrified' with a new up-and-coming veterinary practice style known as Fear Free Veterinary Care.

What is scarier than ghouls and ghosts creeping around your house in celebration of Halloween?

To your pets, the answer is simple: a trip to the vet’s office.

Veterinary care is an important and necessary part of responsible pet ownership, but too often caring pet parents skip the vet to save their fur-baby’s feelings, which can ultimately endanger the pet’s health. That’s why Detroit-area VCA Animal Hospitals are making strides to ensure that they create a Fear Free visit for pets.

A veterinary makeover

In the past, most veterinary practices focused on wrestling and forcing the pet to cooperate for whatever treatment or examination that the animal needed, which can actually make the next visit worse, explains Becky Wilson, hospital manager at VCA White Lake.

“But Fear Free care are vet visits that try to eliminate fear, anxiety and stress for the pet,” she says. “We offer lots of yummy treats. We also use some pheromones for dogs and cats. We keep cats separate from dogs, and we offer cats towels and a box that they can hide in.”

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If a pet has anxiety about the office, the vet may have the pet come in more often, and if the pet simply can’t calm down they will turn to medication to help.

Fear Free certification

Not every veterinarian can claim to offer Fear Free care. There is a certification process that the doctors and staff must go through in order to claim this distinction.

In this course, students must go through eight consecutive modules that each end in an exam. They cover a variety of topics that include teaching doctors how to reduce or remove triggers and teaching owners how to calm pets before a visit.

“The goal is to get every individual at VCA certified,” says Wilson. “We are committed to providing the most positive veterinary experience we can to our patients and their owners.”

Get a free first exam

Looking for a new vet to treat your faithful pets? Head to a VCA Animal Hospital for a free first exam today. Go to VCAHospitals.com to find a location near you and be sure to mention the free first exam offer when making your appointment.

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