The Fear Free training and certification initiative announced it has enrolled more than 14,000 veterinary professionals in its certification program, with around 5,500 already having achieved certification.
Designed to “take the the ‘pet’ out of ‘petrified’” and reduce fear, anxiety and stress in pets receiving veterinary care, Fear Free was founded by Marty Becker, DVM, and developed by a 160-member advisory panel comprised of board-certified veterinary behaviorists, veterinary technician behavior specialists, board-certified veterinary anesthetists, veterinary practice management experts, boarded veterinary practitioners experienced in Fear Free methods, hospital and animal shelter designers and more, according to the program.
“The success of this program is owed to three main factors,” said Becker. “First, Fear Free is the right thing to do; nobody gets involved with veterinary medicine to make life worse for animals. Second, Fear Free allows veterinary professionals to practice a higher quality of medicine while elevating care for their patients. Finally, pet owners are actively searching for individuals with certification to take care of their pets, so practitioners are flocking to certification because of market demand.”
In addition to the core certification program, Fear Free also offers level 2 training and specialty CE courses such as the Foundation for Kittens and Puppies. Initiative enrollees represent more than 1,500 practices in 21 countries. Current projections show between 25,000 and 30,000 professionals will be enrolled in the eight-module program by the end of 2017.
“Fear Free has added an amazing fresh perspective in our professional interactions with our patients and clients,” said Thomas F. Meyer, DVM, current president of the American Veterinary Medical Association. “Our entire veterinary team has bonded to make sure each pets visit is a positive and enjoyable experience. Our clients see how we embrace the human-animal bond by our commitment to a Fear Free visit. This is a game changer and a must for every pet.”
Fear Free approaches harken back to an earlier era of veterinary medicine, said Stephen J. Ettinger, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM (Cardiology), author of the Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
“It reminds all of us how important it is to communicate with both the client and the patient,” he said. “Keeping the patient comfortable and with a reduction in anxiety provides the owner with a more satisfying experience with their pet and the veterinarian. Patients experiencing less anxiety during their time at the veterinarian’s office gives the client a much greater sense of relief and permits better medicine, better communications, and really, better care. Why not incorporate this important part of our profession back into your practice?”
For more information, visit fearfreepets.com.