Setting  your pet up for a lifetime of Veterinary love!

Telford Veterinary Hospital is proud to announce that we are currently working towards our Fear Free Practice Certification! Our Doctors and a few of our nurses have been Fear Free Certified for over a year now and we are excited for the care we will be able to provide when our entire staff has completed the program!

Three Key Messages From Our Practice

  1. We believe in the power of positive reinforcement. Patients will be treated kindly and receive lots of treats and verbal encouragement during their time here.
  2. Fear Free is reinventing the definition of a successful veterinary visit. It is no longer acceptable to “just get it done.” We take into consideration where the patient is emotionally and proceed appropriately, which may mean that some things will not get done during a visit. For example, toenail clipping may have to be done another day if the patient elevates to moderate signs of fear, anxiety, and stress.
  3. Our hospital has a consistent approach to handling and treating our patients: Everyone is practicing Fear Free techniques with every patient at every visit.

We all know that regular veterinary care is important to keeping our four-legged family members as healthy as possible, but we also know that many pets find vet visits extremely stressful!

As modern veterinary science continues to provide us with a better understanding of the impact of emotional well-being on your pet’s physical health, we feel that reducing or eliminating anxiety for your pet at their vet visit is critically important. Fear is a terrible thing for any animal to experience and at Telford Veterinary Hospital we are dedicated to doing everything in our power to prevent your pet from feeling fearful and anxious while in our care. It is our goal to have an entire hospital full of patients and clients who are happy, relaxed and excited to come see their veterinary friends!

What Makes A Visit Fear Free?

So what is the deal with Fear Free? It starts with the understanding that all pets are unique; we cater our approach to each and every patient based on their specific needs and comfort level.

Some of the Fear Free Techniques that we utilize here at TVH are:

  • Lots of food rewards for our patients: such as peanut-free butter, squeeze cheese, chicken and assorted hard treats. Bring your pet hungry!
  • We always use the least amount of restraint possible using food and praise, rather than force, to get the job done with your pet’s consent. This gentle control allows us to reduce fear and anxiety for your pet!
  • For pets who are extra nervous or fearful, we offer a variety of pre-visit anti-anxiety medications or supplements for clients to administer to their pet at home before coming to the clinic. Reducing anticipated anxiety starts them off on the right paw!
  • We use canine and feline specific pheromones on towels and bandannas to promote feelings of calm in our patients. They are available right next to the reception desk when you enter the building. We ask that you borrow one as you enter for your appointment.
  • When a patient appears distressed we STOP what we are doing and come up with a new plan that will work better for them.
  • We offer Happy Visits, where we encourage our clients to bring their pets by to say hello and get some treats! Please call our office to be sure that staff are available for this service prior to coming by to say hi.
  • We use a variety of counter-conditioning techniques to help pets that may be fearful of specific procedures such as nail trims and blood draws. These behavioral services make future visits better for client and patient!
  • We offer behavior consultations with Dr. Loeffler and have contacts with a variety of local resources available for owners on continued training and behavior modification.

How does it work?

If you’ve never owned a pet that is nervous at the vet, you may know someone who has, and have heard their stories.  The pets who reluctantly follow their owner through the doorway, tucking themselves away, or shaking in fear are the most common scenario that we encounter. Some of these pets become so fearful it may eventually turn into aggression: growling, biting or lunging at staff or other clients while at the hospital. This stress then radiates to owners and needed care may be put off due to the concern. Our mission with Fear Free is to reduce fear, anxiety and stress to make sure that your pet safely gets the care they need, when they need it!

We strive to turn past negative experiences around for your pet. Creating more positives than negatives at every visit will eventually overturn the “bad things happen here” mentality into “this place is a smorgasbord!” An animals fear is the natural result of the pet’s repeated negative associations; as many pets only visit us to have things done to them, such as vaccines and blood draws, or when they are sick. Over time, these negative associations overpower the good ones and as a result, pets become fearful. We are committed to helping your pet have continued successful trips to see us! Learn more about Fear Free here!

Happy Visits

Happy visits are beneficial for dogs and cats of all ages! If you have a pet who is fearful or stressed when she is at the hospital, happy visits can be a fantastic way to teach them that we aren’t all that bad! An owner committed to  proactive and frequent happy visits, can help us turn a pet that is nervous at the hospital, into a pet who loves coming in! For puppies this service is especially helpful; as regular happy visits at this critical stage in their development, will help you groom your puppy for lifetime of good feelings about their veterinarian. Puppies that have these positive experiences grow up to be a joy to examine. They rest comfortably through nail trims and there isn’t a flinch to be seen when it comes to blood draws; no stress for your pet, the vet or you!

Happy visits are so easy to do! Simply schedule a happy visit with one of our Technicians, and let your pet get lots of free attention and treats! We’ll let them try our smorgasbord of treats to find their favorite and begin the positive training on the spot!

Fear Free Pre Visit Questionnaire

Prior to your first visit with us here at Telford Veterinary Hospital we ask that you fill out our Fear Free Questionnaire. This checklist enables our staff to care for your pet’s overall mental and physical well-being in the best manner.

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