What is a fear free experience at Latah Creek Animal Hospital?
Fear Free is the concept of practicing veterinary medicine that involves the reduction of stress in our patients which in return will result in a better experience for all involved — including pets, owners, and the veterinary team.
Fear Free was created by “America’s Veterinarian” Dr. Marty Becker who has devoted his life to the health of pets and those who love them. He has written numerous books, serves on advisory boards for humane organizations and is an adjunct professor at multiple veterinary colleges.
The Fear Free concept is based on recognizing and taking steps to reduce fear, anxiety, and stress (referred to as FAS) associated with visits to the veterinary hospital and requires good communication between the owner and veterinary team.
In order to reduce FAS, we first must understand how our canine and feline patients communicate signs of FAS to us. Common signs of FAS in a dog are: a tense face, lips drawn back, tail down, body lowered, dilated pupils, snarling or growling. Common signs of FAS in a cat are: tucked tail, crouched posture, hissing, pupils dilated, and ears pinned down to the side. The first step in addressing FAS is a discussion regarding any concerns you have about coming into the veterinary hospital or known stressors for your pet. A stressor can be any experience, environment, an inanimate or living object that disrupts the body’s normal state of functioning. Examples of stressors to pets include noise, odor, pain, disease processes, and unfamiliar people. Our goal is to reduce stress as it has negative effects on pets, owners, and the veterinary team and ultimately can result in decreased veterinary wellness visits, a decreased ability to appropriately examine and treat the pet, and slower recovery from disease or injury.
To learn more about a fear free visit, click here.