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Fear Free Practitioner

Welcome to Balmy Beach Pet Hospital, where we are proud to practice “fear free” medicine. What does that mean exactly? 

In short and sweet terms, fear free methods of handling help minimize fear, anxiety, and stress (“FAS”) in your pet during a visit to the vet. Some pets experience a very high level of FAS that it can have negative health consequences.  

Preparing for a fear free visit starts at home, well before the actual appointment. Of course, at the crux of fear free visit is food rewards, granted that your pet is food motivated and if medically appropriate. We store lots of small and tasty treats to keep your pet distracted. Read more below to find ways to make your pet’s visit to the vet a “fear free” one!

  • Bring your pet “hungry” to the visit. Your pet is more likely to accept the treat!  
  • Bring your pet’s favourite treats in tiny portions (about 50-100 will suffice) just in case they are not fans of the assortment of goodies we may carry or if they have food allergies.
  • Bring your pet into the hospital for a friendly meet and greet visit prior to the appointment, where we don’t actually do anything.
  • Bring your pet’s favourite toys, and a grooming brush – these items may help the pet relax in the veterinary clinic. 
  • If your dog is very nervous, spraying a pheromone spray on a bandana or t-shirt and placing it around your dog’s neck/body may help to promote relaxation. Allow at least 10-15 minutes for the pheromone to dry before placing it on your pet. 
  • One thing you can do to help reduce stress of getting your cat into the carrier is to have the carrier out well in advance of the appointment. If possible, you can leave the top part of the carrier off, place their favourite blanket sprayed with Feliway (cat pheromone) and a few treats or canned food inside the carrier. This will make the carrier a less scary place to be in.  
  • When transporting a cat in a carrier, be sure to carry the carrier by the sides, and not the handle on the top. The swaying side to side movement during transport can be upsetting to your cat. 
  • When you get to the veterinary clinic, place the carrier on a perched or elevated surface instead of on the floor. Also keep the carrier covered with a towel on the sides and the front to minimize visual distractions that may be stressful to your cat. 
  • Please call the clinic as soon as you arrive before bringing your pet into the clinic, so that we can transport you and your pet directly to the area where an examination will be conducted. 
  • AND most importantly, pets can pick up on your stress levels. If you remain calm, that will greatly help your pet stay calm as well. 

Despite these measures, some pets may still be too stressed and may require anti-nausea or anti-anxiety medications. Please call your veterinarian to discuss. 

Fear free distraction while little dog gets a checkup.

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