Fear Free Certified Professionals in Leesburg

What does Fear Free mean? The Fear Free initiative is a nationally recognized movement that seeks to eliminate fear from veterinary visits through educating both veterinary professionals and pet owners about Fear Free techniques. We are proud that over 75% of our staff have professional certification from the Fear Free program and we hope to raise that number even higher.

After our extensive training and certification, we modified procedures, handling techniques, and made changes to our hospital design in order to help pets feel safe and comfortable during visits. We believe Fear Free will further enhance our ability to provide better overall care to your pets.

Fear Free Certified Practice in Leesburg: Veterinarian Carrying Cat
Fear Free Certified Practice in Leesburg: Veterinarian Gives Dog Exam
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Fear Free Handling: What We Actually Do

So how do our Fear Free Certified Professionals help your pet? The most important thing to keep in mind about fear-free handling is that it will be different for every single pet. Each individual has different fears and anxieties that need to be alleviated. We'll do our best to learn your pet's triggers so we know what to avoid. Fear-free handling can involve any of the following:

  • Letting pets make the first move. Instead of jumping the gun and engaging with your pet before they've gotten to know us, we wait for them to come to us. We'll focus on you first and ask pertinent questions about your pet and their medical history, and then engage with them when they're ready.
  • Leaving sufficient time in exams for cats to get comfortable. Cats love to hide when they're nervous or scared, so we provide them with blankets and towels (and even their own carrier) to do just that. We'll wait for their curiosity to get the better of them and along with some gentle encouragement, handle them when they're ready.
  • Examining them wherever they're comfortable. Some pets don't like the high exam tables, so we'll examine them wherever they're most comfortable, whether it is the floor or our lap!
  • Food motivates us all. Pets can be awfully curious during our physical exams, so when their nosey noses start getting in the way, or we simply need to distract them for a moment, food motivation can be a useful tool.

These are just a few of the ways we aim to reduce stress and create a pleasant experience for your pet. A calm, relaxed pet is not only easier to handle; it also helps us in our diagnostics. Stressed pets can cause incorrect readings in their bloodwork and other diagnostic tests. Fear Free makes for better veterinary medicine.

For more information, ask us about our Fear Free handling techniques and ways you can prepare for a veterinary visit by reducing stress at home. We'll be happy to assist you and spread our knowledge! Schedule your appointment today to experience the Fear Free way.

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