Can you imagine telling your dog, “Let’s go to the vet!” and seeing her tail wag? How about getting out your cat’s carrier and seeing him come running?
Local pet owners won’t need to imagine it if they visit Littlestown Veterinary Hospital. That’s because they are part of a new initiative sweeping veterinary medicine designed to ease the stress, fear, and anxiety so many pets experience while at the veterinarian. Known as Fear Free, the training and certification program helps veterinarians modify their procedures, handling, and facilities to help pets feel safe and comfortable while receiving the medical care they need.
Long-time client care specialist Ruth Green says, “I think every pet that comes to the vet should be calm and relaxed so we can give them the help they need.”
"This program was a natural fit for us as these are practices we have always believed in," says Littlestown Veterinary Hospital owner and operator Dr. Julie Holland. "This formalized how we want animals to be treated."
Founded by veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker, the Fear Free training program was developed by board-certified veterinary behaviorists, veterinary technician behavior specialists, board-certified veterinary anesthetists, well-known veterinary practice management experts, and boarded veterinary practitioners experienced in Fear Free methods.
“Providing veterinarians with the tools they need to ease this burden of fear and anxiety or our patients is the pinnacle of my 37-year veterinary career,” said Dr. Becker, who was dubbed “America’s Veterinarian” by Dr. Oz and appeared on “Good Morning America” for 17 years. “Veterinary professionals are hungry for this information. Animals and their humans need and deserve it. And now it’s here!”
To become certified, veterinarians and veterinary staff are required to complete a comprehensive, 8-part educational course and exam. They also have to take continuing education to remain certified.
Green adds, “I also hope that this will lead to more informed owners.”
Though many staff have completed Fear Free professional certification, Littlestown Veterinary Hospital continues to work towards Fear Free practice certification. Pet owners who would like their pets to experience the Fear Free difference can schedule an appointment by calling 717-359-7877.
About Fear Free
Developed by “America’s Veterinarian,” Dr. Marty Becker, the Fear Free initiative aims to “take the ‘pet’ out of ‘petrified’” and get pets back for veterinary visits by promoting considerate approach and gentle control techniques used in calming environments. Utilization of Fear Free methods and protocols leads to reduction or removal of anxiety triggers, which creates an experience that is rewarding and safer for all involved including pets, their owners, and veterinary health care teams. Learn more at www.fearfreepets.com.
Littlestown Vet Hospital