Fear Free Certified

By now you have probably heard us use the term Fear Free and maybe you have wondered what that means? How does Fear Free change my pet’s visit?

Our staff here at EDGE Animal Hospital is proud to be certified in Fear Free and trained in low stress handling techniques for your pets. We make every effort to reduce any fear, anxiety, and stress (FAS) related to examinations and procedures.

What Should I Expect

We do our best to limit the time for you and your pet in our waiting area. This allows your pet time to acclimate to the exam room before your medical team walks in.

While we have limited exam rooms, we strive to maintain species separation by utilizing certain exam rooms for cats and others for dogs. In our lobby and exam rooms you will see calming pheromone diffusers: Adaptil for dogs, Feliway for Cats.

Your pet will be provided with a non-slip surface and soft blanket or bed. For cats, we encourage you to place your cat’s carrier on an elevated surface and open the door to the carrier to allow them time to explore on their terms. However, if your cat is living on the spicier side of life, please leave your cat in
the carrier so we can safely work with them.

We will have treats, toys, and catnip for cats to offer unless otherwise indicated.

Your pet’s exam is performed where they are the most comfortable, whether it be on the floor, the exam table, in their carrier, or on a lap. Most exams are done with toys and treats and a lot of praise; sometimes you and your pet may not even notice that the doctor is checking your pet’s lungs, heart, lymph nodes, joints, and overall health. All exams, procedures, and treatments are done with Fear Free handling techniques and positive reinforcement.

During your pet’s visit, our team will be constantly monitoring your pet for signs of escalating FAS. We will make attempts to soothe your pet, try different ways of handling, or perform the procedure in a new area based on your pet’s response. If your pet continues to escalate, we will reassess their medical needs. Your pet may be prescribed anti-anxiety medication to return for another visit or we may recommend sedation if medically urgent. We understand that rescheduling visits may be inconvenient, and sedation can be a scary thought for pet owners. However, these recommendations are made for the best interest and safety of your pet and our team.

Preparing for your Fear Free Veterinary Visit

If your pet is anxious about the vet visit, please let us know before your appointment – preferably right at the time of scheduling – so that we can suggest supplements or medications (that would be prescribed by one of our veterinarians) to ease your pet’s stress. If your pet has been previously prescribed anti-anxiety medications for veterinary visits, please continue this unless you are otherwise instructed not to.

We recommend limiting feeding before your appointment, bring them hungry, so that we can use treats to make your pet’s visit more enjoyable. If your pet has a favorite toy or treat, please bring them with you to make your pet’s experience more enjoyable!

Even with our best efforts, medical care can be stressful to pets. The most happy-go-lucky pet can experience anxiety during procedures. Calming supplements, pheromone sprays, and ThunderShirts are all beneficial tools that can be utilized ahead of your visit to help make your pet’s experience more enjoyable.

We hope your pet’s visit with us will be fun and relaxing and that we will provide you with helpful information that is important for your pet’s overall health! Below is some additional information about Fear Free and how to make the trip to the vet less stressful for you and your pet.

10 Things that make fear free vet visits different

How to make the trip to the vet hospital fear free

Giving medications to your pet

How to manage a fear free return home

Keep calm and muzzle on

All about Fear Free Happy Homes