29 May 2016

HEALTH - Fear Free Program Reduces Vet Visit Anxiety

It’s a rare pet that enjoys a visit to the veterinarian. Being poked, prodded and manipulated in a strange looking - and smelling - environment can be very stressful to some animals.

Dogs put on the brakes at the vet clinic door; pets freeze, tremble or strike out at the stranger poking at them. This can lead to pet owners visiting the veterinarian less often and pets’ health could suffer as a result.

In an effort to re-establish the faith of pet owners in vets, Dr. Marty Becker has created a certification program called ‘Fear Free: Taking the pet out of petrified.’

It promotes a considerate approach and gentle control techniques used in a calming environment. This leads to a reduction in anxiety triggers and an experience that is rewarding and safer for everyone.

Becker’s ‘Fear Free Certification Program’ is an exam-based program consisting of eight modules launched March 31. The program is designed for anyone working in the veterinary field – from vets and technicians to customer service representatives and managers.

While the program is currently an individual certification program, the aim is to launch the ‘Fear Free Practice Certification’ by 2018. This program is designed for multispecies and has a multi-focused approach, as designed by experts in and out of veterinary medicine.

The celebrity vet Becker, who spent 17 as the resident vet on Good Morning America and is a core founding member of Team Oz for the Dr. Oz Show, has spent his career devoted to making life better for animals and fostering the relationships between animals and humans. He has written 22 books, three of which made the New York Times bestsellers list, has worked on numerous boards and is an adjunct professional for the veterinary programs at Washington University, Colorado State University and the University of Missouri.

The introductory registration cost for the program is $279/individual and $1,399/group (for up to 10 people). Certification will be valid for three years.
The modules are as follows: Module 1: Fear Free Behaviours Modification Basics; Module 2: Fear Free Transportation of Cats and Dogs to and from Veterinary Hospitals; Module 3: Fear Free Reception and Waiting Area; Module 4: The Fear Free Exam Room; Module 5: Fear Free In-Hospital Care; Module 6: Fear Free Procedures; Module 7a: Pre-visit Protocols: Complimentary Therapeutics, Products & Pharmaceuticals; and Module 7b: In-Hospital Protocols: Sedation, Anesthesia & Analgesia.

Learn more about the Fear Free Program 

By Lindsay Seewalt
Lindsay is an experienced journalist and mother of three whose heart and home is always open to a four-legged friend. With her Corgi, Angie, as household editor-in-chief, Lindsay gives back to the animal planet through the written word on anything and all ado about pets. She is passionate about topics regarding animal welfare and responsible pet ownership, which she aims to instill in both her readers and children to be compassionate animal lovers who are conscious and considerate that furry friends around the globe deserve a voice.

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