Your Pet’s Fear Free Experience

At Berkeley Veterinary Center, a Fear Free experience for you and your furry friends is of utmost priority to us. Did you know that our staff and doctors have undergone special training to ensure that your pet’s stress, anxiety, and fear is kept as minimal as possible during their visit?

Learn about all the extra things we do at our Fear Free Certified facility to make your pet’s experience a great one!

It’s the Little Things

There are so many things that go into helping each pet who enters our practice feel at ease. Fear Free is about adapting to the needs of each individual patient. For example, a food-loving lab is going to require a much different approach than a terrified kitty!

Some of the things that we do to decrease fear, anxiety, and stress in our patients may include:

Treats, treats, and more treats — We utilize food as a reward and a distraction for many of our patients. This helps us to earn their trust and is often enough to keep a pet preoccupied during their exam. Special high value treats like spray cheese and peanut butter are always on hand, but you are encouraged to bring along your pet’s favorites. Be sure your pets arrive to their appointment hungry!

Pheromones everywhere — While you may not notice them, your dog or cat is sure to take note of the pheromone diffusers throughout our hospital. Feliway for cats and Adaptil for dogs help to put our patients at ease.

Getting down — Getting down on your pet’s level helps to create a sense of calm in many of our patients. Don’t be surprised to see us down on the floor. We may also get creative about performing procedures where your pet is most comfortable, such as in someone’s arms or up on one of our chairs. It’s all about getting things done safely and without anxiety.

A smelly undertaking — We hope that you notice the absence of smells in our hospital when you walk in. Your pet is sure to notice as well. We take extra care to remove odors that may cause nose-blindness or feed fear in the animals who visit.

No dogs allowed — Almost nothing is scarier for our feline patients than being greeted face-to-face by an unfamiliar and most unwelcome dog. The barking, smells, and general commotion that comes with canines can increase stress and anxiety in our cat patients.  Separate dog and cat entrances into the hospital, separate dog and cat waiting rooms, and a cat-only exam room help to minimize this.

A considerate approach — You may wonder why we don’t just jump in and get the job done. Moving slowly and using a pet’s body language to gauge how they are feeling can help us to get more accomplished during your pet’s visit with less stress and anxiety.  

Calming sounds — Sometimes the sounds at a veterinary hospital can be disconcerting for already anxious animals. We do our best to minimize these, often using calming music to help.

Prioritizing wants vs needs — We may have a laundry list of things that we hope to accomplish during your pet’s visit, but your pet will likely have some different ideas. We do our best to prioritize the things that “need” to happen, saving the things that we “want” to happen for last. This allows us to provide the best medicine for your pet, while making good judgements about when to push on and when to maybe try under different circumstances another day.

Fear Free is Our Goal

A Fear Free experience is very important to us. It is a rewarding feeling to work with your pets in a stress-free environment. Creating this experience for our pet patients is rewarding because it helps to build a sense of trust in the dogs and cats we treat and makes them want to see us again. It also allows us to see their true personalities, and to get to know them better.

If you have questions or want to learn more about Fear Free, please give us a call. We would love to meet you and your pet. You can also find more information on Fear Free at FearFreePets.com.  

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