River Valley Veterinary Hospital logoRiver Valley Veterinary Hospital - About Fear Free

We are always looking for ways to enhance the level of care we can give to your furry companions and to provide clients with the excellent customer service they deserve. Dr. Celentano and Dr. Moore are Fear Free Certified Professionals and they incorporates Fear Free techniques into both hospital and Concierge Critter Care home visits further reducing the fear, anxiety, and stress associated with visiting a veterinary hospital.

About Fear Free:

There are techniques we can use which alone can make a more relaxed exam for our patients. Unfortunately, they alone will not magically remove all fear, anxiety and stress during the visit for the patient for the majority of patients. Some animals seem very good during the vet visit to the casual observer as they are completely still. This could, for instance, be the outward manifestation of them being extremely fearful. While this is easier to watch than a struggling patient during the exam, it is not ideal. We can all do better with Fear Free. During the first Fear Free visit, we will discuss and explore options to see what gets the most favorable response from the patient. Subsequent visits will allow us to refine and optimize the positive experience for both our patients and our clients.

One advantage we already have is that with home veterinary care visits, we have already eliminated many of the the stressors involved in a visit with the vet. Some of them may include:

Separation from pet moms and dads
Car sickness and car rides in general
Dislike of pet carriers
Dislike of other breeds and species
Cold, metallic exam tables high off the ground
Slippery walking surfaces
Unfamiliar, overwhelming sensory overload:
Noises, such as barking, or strange voices.
Pheromones are released by fearful animals and remain behind for other animals to immediately detect, which raises alert levels.
Visuals: Did you know that to dogs and cats white appears similarly to how fluorescent colors appear to humans? (And, you thought you had a fear of white lab coats that raised your blood pressure readings at the doctor's office.)

One of the suggestions for a better experience when visiting a veterinary hospital is the bring a blanket or something that smells like home. When your vet visits you at home, everything around you already smells like home, so we have successfully addressed many of the items we need to be extra careful of when in a veterinary hospital environment. There is no quick, easy way to take a typical veterinary hospital and turn it into a Fear Free veterinary hospital overnight. In 2018, when veterinary hospitals being to get certified, it will be very interesting to see what architypal hospitals can do. However, every hospital can do quite a few things to change themselves into a more Fear Free environment, even if they will never become a Fear Free Certified Veterinary Hospital.

There are also going to be emergency cases where immediate action is required and a more traditional methodology is required. And, some clients might not be willing or able to facilitate or assist with the preliminary steps to foster a positive experience where Fear Free techniques can be successfully employed for the patient. Regardless, in almost all cases, there are quite a number of improvements that can be made using Fear Free to create a better veterinary care experience for veterinary patients reducing or eliminating fear, anxiety and stress.

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