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Fear Free Veterinary Visits

By February 29, 2016 Specials

From the type of music we play to the types of treats we offer in our designated cat & dog exam rooms, your pet’s visit is specially designed to be enjoyable, comfortable and relaxing!

We are pleased to announce that we are the first veterinary practice in Sussex County to offer Fear Free Veterinary Visits. Fear Free methods of handling and understanding animal behavior have been taught to the doctors and staff in order to decrease your pet’s anxiety and increase the quality of care during your visit with us. By looking after the emotional well-being of pets, we also help the physical wellbeing of pets. During your next visit you may notice the following Fear Free methods we have introduced into our daily routines:

Pheromones: pheromone infused towels are offered upon arrival to cover carriers or wrap up small dogs; sprayed on exam room tables, equipment, & staff clothing; plug-ins provide a constant infusion into the air

Designated Cat Exam Rooms and Dog Exam Rooms: to minimize sounds and smells that may increase anxiety

Variety of Treats for all species: crunchy cookies, soft cookies, peanut butter, cheese, baby food, and for those who need them – hypoallergenic or sensitive stomach treats

Bath Mats on Exam Tables: often times, stability = comfort

Wire Muzzles: when needed, wire muzzles are used so that we can still get a tongue depressor in there with treats smeared on them!

Thunder shirts: This “shirt” delivers a nice even pressure like a warm hug. (available for cats and small dogs)

Clipnosis: a clip that imitates the “scruff” hold that a mother cat holds a kitten with.

Cat and Dog specific music: Through a Dog’s Ear and Through a Cat’s Ear are compilations of music that have been proven to be effective in reducing anxiety in specific circumstances. The music is played in the cat/dog specific exam rooms.

Suggestions to empower you to make changes starting before your pet’s appointment: we will make these suggestions at the time that you make your pet’s appointment. We will also offer Fear Free kits with pheromones, music and “chill pills” in them so that you can begin the calming effect at home.

Although Fear Free methods do not work for every single one of our patients, the rewards of these simple changes have been evident already. Here are a few examples of what our clients are saying in response to our Fear Free veterinary visits.

“That was very surprising! Sassy (11 year old domestic short hair kitty) has never gone through an entire exam without needing a muzzle. She didn’t even growl!?!”

“That’s the first time she (7 year old cocker spaniel) was calm enough to take a cookie here!”

“I can’t believe what I just saw!” (Said by a client in response to the successful examination of her toy poodle who has a reputation for being very aggressive. We have always fitted her with a muzzle and wrapped her in a heavy blanket just to be able to get near her without getting bit and/or scratched. This comment was made after Dr. Nancy completed examining the toy poodle’s heart, lungs, eyes, ears, skin, coat, abdomen, and range of motion. It wasn’t until Dr. Nancy tried to examine the lymph nodes in her neck (close to her jaw) that Sassy became aggressive. We think she may have been protective of the peanut butter that the technician was distracting her with!).


Fear Free Kit Instructions:

Solliquin for cats and dogs:




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