• Dr. Mike practicing fear free techniques
  • Nicole practicing fear free technique
  • Fear Free Veterinary Practice

What is Fear Free?

According to a recent nationwide study, 26 percent of dog owners and 38 percent of cat owners report that just thinking about going to the vet is stressful.

The Janesville Veterinary Clinic has embraced the fear free movement!  Our staff members have received extensive training, and many of our care team members are fear-free certified.

The fear-free movement, developed by the esteemed Dr. Marty Becker, is a set of specific techniques that, when implemented by pet owners and veterinarian professionals, greatly reduce anxiety associated with veterinary visits.

The Fear-Free movement focuses on the fact that pets not only need veterinary professionals to look after their physical well-being, but their emotional well-being as well.

Fear Free Practice

Related Articles

Fear Free Certification Program

The Fundamentals of Fear Free Veterinary Visit

Fear Free Veterinary Visits for Your Cat

Fear Free: The Next Breakthrough in Veterinary Medicine

An Interview with Dr. Marty Becker

Why a Fear Free Veterinary Clinic is the Only Way To Go

Tricks for Treats:  How to Train Pets for a Fear-Free Veterinary Experience

Example of Fear Free Techniques

We keep Feliway-infused towels in our waiting rooms as pheromone therapy for cats.

Feliway-infused towels

For pets who are especially nervous, we can examine them right in the waiting room.

Dr. Kelly examines pet in the waiting room

Some nervous pets need extra affection from staff to help improve their experience!

Chloe gets snuggles after surgery

For certain procedures, we swaddle cats in a soft blanket to keep them calm (also known as the Burrito Wrap).

Cat swaddles in soft towel.

We give your pets their favorite treats or toys during their visits to make the visit a positive experience.

Pet getting treats

Dr. Jennifer is using a low voice and spending time with the patient on the floor before examining her.

Patient gets calmed by Dr. Jennifer

Fear-Free Tips for Petowners

  • If possible, purchase a cat carrier that opens from the top and/or has an easily removable top. This can make vet visit much less stressful, as we can examine your cat right inside his/her carrier.
  • Place the carrier in a central area of the home at least 3 days prior to the exam. Wipe the carrier with pheromone wipes ( Feliway) and place their bed and treats inside. Make their carrier a happy and not a scary place. This will make getting them into it a much easier process for you and them.
  • When driving make sure the carrier is flat. You may use towels to make sure it does not slip or tilt.
  • Cover the carrier to reduce stimuli.
  • Play calming classical music to decrease anxiety.
  • Speak in a low calm voice. High pitched praise or reaffirmation often increases anxiety.
  • When you arrive, carry the carrier with both hands like you are cradling a present. This prevents the cat from being jostled and unbalanced.
  • In the waiting area, cover the carrier with one of our Feliway-infused towels.
  • We have cat-specific rooms that are treated with pheromones to help calm your cat.

We are committed to caring for your pet’s emotional well-being!

  1. Consider using a harness or fixed length leash. This allows more control during what can be a somewhat anxious visit.
  2. Condition them early to enjoy car rides. Start with short drives around the neighborhood. Feed treats and make it a positive experience. Add more and more time as they get used to it. If ever anxious, stop and try again another day.
  3. On the day of the visit, feed a small meal in the morning. If they are hungry, your dog will respond better to food rewards during the vet visit.
  4. Bring their favorite treat, kibble, or toy with them to their appointment.
  5. During the car ride try some calming classical music. It is said to soothe even a dog’s nerves.
  6. Speak in a low voice. High pitched praise can often increase anxiety.
  7. If you have an anxious dog, leave them in the car and check in with the receptionist. They will advise you when an exam room is available.
  8. If your dog is more comfortable in the waiting room, please let us know.  The doctor can sometimes exam him/her out there!
  9. Talk with your vet about medication options.

We are committed to caring for your pet’s emotional well-being!

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