What It Takes to Be Fear Free Certified

To become a Fear Free Certified Professional, our staff members undergo extensive training by Fear Free, an organization dedicated to alleviating fear and stress in pets. At Hills and Dales Veterinary Clinic in Kettering, our goal is to make every pet who comes through our doors feel safe and comfortable. Stress means your pet is not his/her best self. Their mental health is compromised and they could even lash out. We aim to alleviate their stress (and yours, too!) and improve their experience with trained, compassionate staff and by integrating fear-free practices into our entire hospital.

Our Fear Free Approach

We know veterinary visits can be stressful for your furry friends, so we take extra care of them here. Our Fear Free Certified staff recognize signs of discomfort and address them quickly. There are many different elements of a vet visit that could trigger fear and anxiety for a pet. It could include transport, new people, the sights and smells of other animals, handling during a physical exam which could feel invasive, vaccinations, and more.

To help your pet relax during these situations, our Fear Free Certified staff may employ a range of techniques including, but not limited to:

Fear Free Certified Practice in Kettering: Woman Sitting on Bench and Hugging Dog

Low-restraint handling

Dogs and (especially) cats do not like rough handling. We use the minimum amount of restraint needed when performing a physical, administering injections, and more.

Avoiding direct eye contact

Some dogs may feel direct eye contact is a challenge or a threat. We avoid this by first addressing you. We’ll talk to you about why you’ve brought your pet in, any changes at home, and then address your pet.

Making time for cat comfort

Cats can take time to warm up to a new environment. We try to give your cats as much time and space as they need to get comfortable in the exam room so they come out of their carrier on their own.

Food motivation

Who isn’t motivated by the lure of a tasty treat? We’ll use treats to both reward and distract your pet from what we’re doing, like administering a vaccination, tending to an injury, or simply doing a physical exam.

We realize each pet is unique and may require a different kind of fear free experience. Luckily, our Fear Free Certified staff are up to the challenge. Schedule your appointment today to experience the fear-free difference!

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