Fear Free Certified: What Does it Mean for You and Your Pet?

A calm cat relaxes on its owner's shoulder.

If you know the team at Berkeley Veterinary Center, you probably already know how dedicated we are to bringing the best in veterinary medicine to you and your family. Besides being AAHA accredited, did you know that our practice is also Fear Free Certified? While that may sound impressive, you might be asking yourself “what does Fear Free Certified mean?” Well, look no further for an explanation as to why it’s important and what it means to you and your four-legged friends.

The Basic Tenets of Fear Free

It is not unusual for animals to be scared or anxious when they visit the vet. It tends to be an unknown place where sometimes unpleasant things happen.

More current research is showing something clear, though. Pets receive better care when they are comfortable. Pet parents are more likely to bring their animals in for care when they are not scared, and calm pets allow our team to do better examinations, more diagnostics, and provide overall better care. 

The Fear Free movement has been gaining traction across the country, and is based on the idea of reducing fear, anxiety, and stress in our pet patients wherever possible. 

Fear Free aims to accomplish this by:

  • Using gentle control techniques and distraction to help guide pets to participate willingly in their medical care
  • Increasing pet comfort and decreasing pain throughout their visit wherever possible
  • Reducing anxiety about the veterinarian through natural means such as pheremones as well as pre-visit pharmaceutical where necessary
  • Keeping waiting areas and exam rooms as stress free as possible
  • Helping you to get your pet to us with minimal stress
  • Decreasing stressful sounds, smells, and other stimuli wherever possible

It makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Fear Free techniques are important to our team because they help us to do our jobs better and to help more pets. 

What Does Fear Free Certified Mean to You

Now that you understand a little bit more about what Fear Free is, it is also important to understand why a Fear Free Certified practice is best for your pet.

When a veterinary practice is Fear Free Certified, it means that not only have the staff there taken an interest in how to do better for their pet patients, it means that they have committed to doing the best possible job using the latest data of the front of low stress pet care.

In order to achieve Fear Free practice certification, a veterinary hospital must:

  • Have the entire staff undergo Fear Free training and certification
  • Have the entire staff be dedicated to continuing to learn about Fear Free techniques and skills each year
  • Put into place various protocols and efforts that help to make the hospital as Fear Free as possible
  • Subject itself to periodic on site evaluations by an outside party to ensure that standards are being met and followed
  • Provide education to its clientele about Fear Free practices and positive training methods

Being Fear Free Certified means so much to us at Berkeley Veterinary Center. We know that it helps us to bring the best care to our pet patients, and we are excited to share what it means with our clients. If you have any questions about Fear Free or anything else, please feel free to contact us

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