What Is a Fear Free® Veterinary Hospital and What Are The Benefits?

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As a pet owner, you know that your furry friend is part of the family. You want to do what's best for them, and that includes taking them to the veterinarian for routine wellness exams and care. But if you've ever been to a traditional veterinary hospital, then you know that it can be a stressful experience for both you and your pet.

Fear Free® Certified veterinary hospitals strive to eliminate or reduce the fear and anxiety that many pets feel when visiting the vet. As a Fear Free® veterinary practice, we are here to provide the care your beloved companion needs in a calming environment. We make every effort to make veterinary care stress-free for pets and their people, and we would like to share a bit more information about Fear Free veterinary hospitals. Here we'll take a look at what they are, what benefits they offer and how you can find one in your area. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is A Fear Free Veterinary Hospital And What Are The Benefits For Pet Owners And Their Pets?

A Fear Free veterinary hospital is a clinic designed to reduce anxiety for both pets and their owners. The staff understands the importance of providing gentle and low stress care to ease anxiety and reduce any potential triggers that could spark a negative reaction from patients. Pet owners benefit from being in an environment where they know their pets are safe and comfortable, which helps them better express what medical treatments they may need. Pets benefit from having less stress leading up to and during their visit, which allows for more accurate medical assessment.

With reduced stress levels during the exam and treatment process, pet owners schedule more frequent visits for their pets. In turn, this leads to improved overall pet health, allowing for earlier detection of any potential health issues and faster resolution with treatments such as medications and surgery. A Fear Free environment also allows staff members to be more attentive in providing information on lifestyle choices that support pet wellness. Ultimately, Fear Free veterinary hospitals offer huge benefits for both pet owners and their pets by providing a safe space where pets can get effective medical care while feeling safe and supported at all times.

Contemporary young woman giving kiss to brown dachshund while holding her cute pet on hands in lounge of veterinary hospital

How Do These Hospitals Work To Create A Stress-Free Environment For Both The Pet And The Owner?

Fear Free pet hospitals aim to create a stress-free environment for both the pet and their owner. The staff strives to provide a welcoming atmosphere and uses soft, gentle commands when speaking to pets. Pet owners also appreciate being kept informed every step of the way and feel comforted knowing their furry friend is in good hands. Fear Free practices are specially trained to handle pets with minimal restraint and to use positive reinforcement to achieve the outcomes needed. If a patient is showing signs of distress, the staff members will slow down and re-evaluate the situation, often recommending some form of sedation for the pet to move forward.

In many pet hospitals, the staff goes above and beyond by playing calming music and displaying murals featuring scenes of natural habitats on the walls. To further alleviate anxiety, some pet hospitals offer complimentary treats such as dog biscuits and use diffusers that emit scents that relax patients. By working hard to create a comfortable experience for all those involved, these pet hospitals make it possible for pets to receive essential care without added fear or discomfort.

Woman veterinarian cuddles tabby cat at appointment in modern clinic

What Being A Fear Free Certified Professional Means To Our Medical Director At San Dimas Pet Clinic, Dr. Carter Wong:

"Being Fear-Free certified means that your pets will undergo a more comfortable experience during their visits to the veterinary hospital. Recognizing that hospital visits can induce stress and anxiety, we dedicate additional time and attention to understanding and addressing pets' emotions and well-being. Within our hospital, we have created an environment and ethos that fosters positive associations for our furry visitors. This is achieved through the lots of treats, affection, and personalized attention, tailored to each pet's preferences. Our aim is to reduce fear, anxiety, and stress in our patients, making their visits enjoyable and make them want to come back! Each Fear-Free certified doctor or technician has undergone extensive training and rigorous testing, ensuring their proficiency in this approach. We eagerly anticipate the opportunity to meet your cherished pets and create memorable experiences together!"

How Can You Tell If A Veterinary Hospital Is Fear Free Or Not, And Where Can You Find One In Your Area?

Finding the right veterinarian to care for your pet can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure a Fear Free experience when visiting the vet. First and foremost, it's important to find a veterinary hospital that is certified as “Fear Free.” Look for hospitals that prioritize both safety and comfort for your pets by using low-stress handling techniques and providing environments that reduce fear and stress. Most Fear Free vets also have specialized training and experience in working with anxious animals. Look at each hospital's credentials and ensure they meet your standards regarding proper training.

Additionally, look for a hospital with staff members with experience in behavior and communication, so you can be sure that any issues or concerns you may have will be addressed appropriately. Lastly, make sure that their services match up with your needs. Be sure they offer everything from preventive care and wellness services to emergency procedures should the need arise. Once you've found a Fear Free veterinary hospital in your area, check online reviews.

These simple steps will help increase your chances of having a successful visit with the veterinarian. With the right research and information, finding a Fear Free veterinary hospital near you should be easy!

Closing Thoughts

If you're looking for a veterinarian that will help your pet feel more comfortable and less anxious, consider looking for one with Fear Free Certified Professionals on staff, like our Medical Director at San Dimas Pet Clinic, Dr. Carter Wong. Fear Free hospitals provide a less stressful environment for both pets and their owners, and they offer many benefits over traditional veterinary hospitals. If you would like to make the switch to a Fear Free veterinary hospital, we would love to have your pet as a patient. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment for your four-legged best friend.


  • Dog Wellness
  • Cat Wellness