Can you imagine telling your dog, “Let’s go to the vet!” and seeing her tail wag? How about getting out your cat’s carrier and seeing him come running?

Pet owners won’t need to imagine it if they visit us here at KMVC. That’s because we’re part of a new initiative sweeping veterinary medicine designed to ease the stress, fear, and anxiety so many pets experience while at the veterinarian.

Known as Fear Free, the training and certification program helps veterinarians modify their procedures, handling, and facilities to help pets feel safe and comfortable while receiving the medical care they need.

We sought this out to help make vet visits the best they can be. With the new addition of our cat room we were especially interested in creating a more inviting environment for our feline patients.

Founded by veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker, the Fear Free training program was developed by board-certified veterinary behaviorists, veterinary technician behavior specialists, board-certified veterinary anesthetists, well-known veterinary practice management experts, and boarded veterinary practitioners experienced in Fear Free methods.

“Providing veterinarians with the tools they need to ease this burden of fear and anxiety or our patients is the pinnacle of my 37-year veterinary career,” said Dr. Becker, who was dubbed “America’s Veterinarian” by Dr. Oz and appeared on “Good Morning America” for 17 years. “Veterinary professionals are hungry for this information. Animals and their humans need and deserve it. And now it’s here!”

To become certified, veterinarians and veterinary staff are required to complete a comprehensive, 8-part educational course and exam. They also have to take continuing education to remain certified.

A big part of it is treats! We encourage you to bring your pets hungry. Offering high value treats encourages pets to be more trusting when they can associate vet visits as fun! It’s both calming and distracting.

Developed by “America’s Veterinarian,” Dr. Marty Becker, the Fear Free initiative aims to “take the ‘pet’ out of ‘petrified’” and get pets back for veterinary visits by promoting considerate approach and gentle control techniques used in calming environments. Utilization of Fear Free methods and protocols leads to reduction or removal of anxiety triggers, which creates an experience that is rewarding and safer for all involved including pets, their owners, and veterinary health care teams. Learn more at www.fearfreepets.com.

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