By now you have probably heard us use the term Fear Free and maybe you have wondered what does that mean? How does being a Fear Free certified practice change my pet’s visit? Let us explain.

Our staff here at Town and Country Animal Hospital is proud to be certified in Fear Free and trained in low stress handling techniques for your pets.

With our advanced scheduling system we do our best to limit the time for you and your pet in our waiting area. During this Covid-19 pandemic we have switched to curbside service, which eliminates the waiting room all together. At this time we ask that you arrive at your scheduled appointment time and call us from the parking lot. One of our Fear Free certified technicians will come to the car and get your pet and bring them into the building while you wait in the car.  Your pet is taken straight into the exam room to see the veterinarian. This allows them to completely avoid a crowded front desk or a busy waiting area all together. As soon as the veterinary team is done with your pets treatment your pet is returned to you.

We will offer treats for cats and dogs, catnip for cats – if owner approved. We also have toys available if treats are not an option. We also use pheromones – Feliway  for cats and Adaptil for dogs.

Your pet’s exam is generally performed where they are the most comfortable, whether it be on the floor, the exam table, 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. Blood draws are done with Fear Free handling techniques, and vaccinations and treatments are done with more treats, toys, and a lot of praise.

Of course all of this also means that we will spend a bit more time with each patient. Your appointment will be scheduled to allow for this extra time. Please limit feeding before your appointment, bring them hungry, so that we can use treats to make your pet’s visit more enjoyable. We have some toys available also but please feel free to bring your pet’s favorite treat or toy with him or her. We may have music designed specifically to calm your pet playing in the exam room as well.

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. We may ask you to pick up supplements, medications, pheromone sprays or Thundershirts before your visit to use for your pet at their appointment. We also have information available on how to make your pet’s carrier or car ride to the vet less worrisome and less stressful.

Should your pet show any signs of extreme worry during your visit, we will attempt to soothe your pet. You may be able to help us by telling us what helps your pet feel relaxed. If needed, we may suggest that we reschedule the vet visit and have you return with your pet after you have given them anti-anxiety medications. We are here to help make your pet’s visit as enjoyable as possible. An important part of that is alleviating as much fear, anxiety and stress as possible.

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!