Mountain View Services

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Fear Free Certified Clinic


What is Fear-Free Certification?


As a Fear-Free Certified clinic, we aim to create the best experience for you and your pet.  There are multiple ways we can implement Fear Free practices at our hospital, and there are many ways you can achieve them as well.  A stress-free veterinary visit for your pet begins at home because making sure your pet arrives at the hospital calm and comfortable is crucial.  


Preparation


Practice transport safety with your pet:


Harnesses:

Carriers:


You can spray pheromones like Feliway or DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) in and around the carrier.  

You can take the top off the carrier to make it more open and inviting and place a blanket inside.  

These actions will help acclimate your animal to their carrier and make the day of your appointment much calmer and more comfortable for both of you.


The Car Ride


If your pet is not used to or dislikes the car, place them in an idling car for 5 minutes, and slowly progress to short rides around the neighborhood.  

Once your pet is comfortable with a 10 minute ride around the neighborhood, they are ready for their trip to the hospital.



Feeding


If medically appropriate, feed your dog a smaller than normal breakfast.  Coming to the hospital a little hungrier than normal can help them respond well to food rewards.

If your pet gets very anxious around other animals or noises, make sure to call ahead and let us know.  We can have you leave them in the car until an exam room is ready.

Speak in a low, calming voice to your pet during their transport to the hospital.  High-pitched praise can sometimes induce anxiety in a pet.  

Never scold or yell at an animal for showing signs of fear, anxiety & stress.

If getting your pet into their carrier or car is extremely stressful to them, please contact us.  It may be more appropriate to reschedule for a different day, or even to give them medications to help them calm down.

If you are stressed, your animal will be too!

Make sure you are staying calm as well.  Fear travels down the leash and through the carrier.  Dogs and cats can pick up on their owner's emotional state.


The Trip Home


Leaving the hospital and returning your pet to their home can also be very stressful.  Other animals in the house can become anxious by the change as well.  Aggression between reintroduced animals is a common issue.  

Tips for bringing your animal back home:


Practice Happy Visits!


Make sure to praise your animal when they are exhibiting calm behavior.  Treats, their favorite toy, petting and verbal praise are the best ways of doing so.  

If your pet is anxious at the hospital, try to come in for a "happy visit" every once in a while – come into the waiting room, give them treats, let them get some love from the veterinary staff, and then leave.  These visits will help your animal associate our hospital with positive emotions.