“Fear Free Initiative” Helps Pets with Anxiety about Going to the Vet


The Fear Free Initiative is a program that was developed by veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker to help pets overcome their fear of going to the veterinarian’s office. The program is designed to help vets make their practices more comforting for anxiety-prone dogs, cats, and other pets. What types of changes can a veterinary practice make to become Fear Free-certified? Here are the key concepts of the program:


The Fear Free method focuses on promoting considerate approaches and gentle control techniques in environments designed to calm pets. Vets participating in the program learn how to remove or reduce anxiety triggers for pets, leading to calmer animals and owners…and a more productive veterinary visit.



Dr. Becker notes that a Fear Free veterinary experience starts at home with things like use of a proper carrier and calming techniques practiced by the owner, then moving on to limited time in the waiting room, and veterinary professionals who are calm and not rushed in the exam room. Techniques used to make the animal feel comfortable include things like performing an exam in the owner’s lap if necessary, and making sure the exam room doesn’t have that vet office disinfectant smell…replacing it with calming pheromones like Feliway, for example.


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A pet’s—and owner’s—dread of going to the vet can lead to neglect of the animal’s preventive health care, so be sure that you and your pet feel relaxed and comfortable with the veterinary practice you choose.


Click HERE to learn more about the Fear Free Initiative.



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