Fear Free

The Fear Free Mission

Our mission is to prevent and alleviate fear, anxiety, and stress in pets by inspiring and educating the people who care for them.

What is Fear Free?

Founded in 2016, Fear Free provides online and in-person education to veterinary professionals, the pet professional community, and pet owners.  Fear Free courses are developed and written by the most respected veterinary and pet experts in the world, including boarded veterinary behaviourists, boarded veterinary anesthesiologists, pain experts, boarded veterinary internists, veterinary technicians (behaviour), experts in shelter medicine, animal training, grooming, boarding and more.

By closely listening to the needs of the profession and those of pet owners, Fear Free has become one of the single most transformative initiatives in the history of companion animal practice, providing unparalleled education on emotional well-being, enrichment and the reduction of FAS (fear, anxiety and stress) in pets.

How is Fear Free Implemented at Watzin Veterinary Clinic?

The Fear Free initiative is lead by our trained Veterinarians and implemented by our entire team who are also Fear Free Certified. Fear Free starts with recognizing pet behaviour before, during and after their veterinary visit. We understand that the clinic can be a scary place for some patients and during their visit our team will identify a pet’s FAS score, including triggers of FAS.

We offer segregated canine and feline sections in our reception area to keep pets comfortable and reduce their interaction. Our feline side is equipped with an elevated table and cat condos to eliminate the need to place the carrier on the floor. We also provide blankets to cover carriers so that your cat feels safe and hidden.  Both canine and feline sides have a selection of various treats, catered to all dietary restrictions that help patients feel rewarded or distracted so the experience is positive.

Our examination rooms offer gentle iCalm cat and dog music boxes that play species specific tunes that are calming for your pets. Pheromone diffusers distribute natural species specific, appeasing ‘messages’ in both our dog and cat rooms, as well as throughout the clinic. Although we cannot sense the synthetic pheromones that are diffused into the air, the pets can and it helps them to feel calm and more at ease.

Our team might also offer your pet a Thundershirt™ during their visit to generate a natural, calming affect similar to swaddling an infant. A variety of constant and delicious treats may be offered to your pet to reinforce a positive experience and act as a distraction to perform treatments with minimal restraint and gentle handling techniques.

Why do we support the Fear Free movement?

In people, mental health has become an important topic of conversation and in recent years has been further recognized as having correlations to the development of illness and disease. Fear Free has brought to the forefront research and better understanding of your pet’s emotional well-being and acknowledging how chronic fear, anxiety and stress is impacting their overall health. Our goal is to help pets live happy, healthy and long lives!

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