As North Alabama’s first veterinary hospital to achieve Fear Free training, we are proud to announce that all of our doctors and veterinary technicians (as well as over 50% of our support staff) are Fear Free Certified Professionals. We are committed to ensuring that you and your pets have a positive experience at our hospital by providing your pets with a fear free experience.
Our staff has undergone special training to:
Animals that experience stress during veterinary visits are less likely to return for future wellness exams and may only come in when experiencing illness. A stressed or fearful pet may result in limited physical exams, a decreased ability to perform diagnostic tests, and even slower recovery from illness. Your pet’s health is our highest priority, so addressing and reducing fear is an essential component to that end.
Some of the ways dogs demonstrate fear include dilated pupils, ears down or back, tail tucked, and clinging to you or hiding using you as a barrier between you and veterinary staff. These signs may begin at home, in the car, in the lobby, or once already in an exam room.
Cats that are stressed or fearful generally have dilated pupils, maintain a withdrawn body posture with legs tucked under their bodies, tucked in or swishing side to side, ears to the side or laying against the head, and they may hiss, growl, or swat.
We should start making plans to reduce your pet’s fear. When you call to make an appointment, discuss with our team what you have seen and we will work with you to create a plan to reduce that stress. We may recommend a medication which you can give at home to try to decrease the stress response even before it begins. We can also schedule you for a quieter exam time or arrange to allow you and your pet to wait in the car right up until you can enter an exam room. Bringing your pet hungry with some favorite treats in tow can certainly help as well. We have many more techniques that we are using to de-stress the hospital visit as well, from where and how we do our exam through pheromones and a wide variety of treats designed to build positive associations with a visit to the hospital. Each pet is different, and we want to partner with you to create the best experience possible for the whole furry family, you, and our team.
The Fear Free experience begins by calling our office at 256-882-0950. You are encouraged to discuss the details of your pet’s behavior with us, so that we can partner with you to create the best plan possible to ensure that you and your pet enjoy coming in to the hospital.