Fear Free

5 reasons to take your pet to a Fear Free® vet practice.

5 reasons to take your pet to a Fear Free® vet practice.

Although individual vets (or even pet owners!) can become Fear Free Certified®, visiting an entirely Fear Free Certified practice offers a smoother experience from beginning to end. The Fear Free veterinary approach takes specific steps to reduce animals' anxiety and stress, making vet visits easier, quicker, and more enjoyable. A veterinarian practice must adhere to rigorous standards to be considered fully Fear Free Certified, including specific procedures for how they handle your pet and deliver care. Whatever the reason for your visit, your pet and you will feel comfortable and calm.

Here are a few more reasons why a Fear Free Certified practice is the best choice for keeping your pet happy and healthy through the years.


Everyone understands the Fear Free approach.

Instead of only one person understanding the Fear Free approach, each member of your beloved companion's care team is trained with Fear Free methodology. That includes the person greeting your pet at the front desk to the veterinary tech who checks their weight and heart rate. In a Fear Free Certified practice, care is delivered with thought and consistency at every step of your visit: when you're welcomed at the door, when your pet is examined, and when you're provided with a care plan moving forward.



Every aspect of the vet clinic is intentionally designed.

A Fear Free clinic's interior is much different than your typical vet's. Chaotic, crowded, and noisy waiting rooms are replaced with species-specific seating areas, low wait times, and calming moments like music, white noise machines, and pheromone diffusers. Exam rooms are cozy, with additions like warm, plush towels, no-slip mats, and engaging toys to keep your best friend happy (and distracted) through sometimes-unpleasant procedures.

There's clear communication through every step of your visit.

Fear Free is only successful if there's clear communication between you, your pet's care team, and your pet. Your veterinary team will take the time to understand your expectations and experiences, as well as your pet's personality, limits, and needs. You'll understand exactly what steps are taken to make your pet as comfortable as possible, while your pet will feel calm and secure.

The team easily identifies and responds to pets' fear, anxiety, or stress.

Though it can be hard to tell if your dog or cat is stressed, a Fear Free team is trained in quickly identifying these negative emotions and preventing them from getting worse. Tried-and-true ways to reduce fear, anxiety, and stress include offering increasingly tempting treats, playing with toys, or even a gentle massage. If your pet continues to become more stressed, your appointment may be paused or rescheduled. 

Your pet gets a detailed record to guide future visits.

Your pet is important, not just another number at the vet's office.

That's why Fear Free clinics keep detailed emotional records for every single animal that walks through their door. The record may include the treats they enjoy most or specific fear triggers. It will also include their preferred care provider and exam location, as well as if sedation was needed. This record takes the guesswork out of future visits—getting your pet the care they deserve is easy and convenient. 

Finding a Fear Free Certified veterinary clinic can make an enormous difference in you and your pet's life. Becoming a Fear Free Certified veterinary clinic is a commitment, but it ensures all visitors get the best possible care and that our team has a good experience, too. 

Come visit Papaya at our first-ever, fully certified location in Carmel Valley, San Diego, or keep an eye out for new locations popping up across the region.

The information in this blog is reviewed and approved by the Fear Free Certified veterinarians at Papaya Pet Care.

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