Setting your pet up for a lifetime of Veterinary love!
Telford Veterinary Hospital is proud to share that we have successfully completed our Fear Free Practice Certification! Our entire staff has been Fear Free Certified, including doctors, nurses, and reception. We are excited for the care we will be able to provide now that our full team has completed the program!
Key Message From Our Practice
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 strive to turn around any negative experiences your pet may have had at vets in the past. Creating more positives than negatives at every visit will eventually overturn the “bad things happen here” mentality into “this place is fun and not so scary after all!” An animal’s fear is the natural result of repeated negative associations. Since many pets only a visit the vet when they are sick or need certain regular services, such as vaccines or blood draws, these negative associations often overpower the good ones over time. As a result, pets become fearful.
In recent years, modern veterinary science has provided 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, so at Telford Veterinary Hospital we are dedicated to doing everything in our power to prevent your pet from feeling fearful 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 every patient based on their specific needs and comfort level. Check out these Fear Free Techniques we utilize here at TVH!
PRE-VISIT FORMS – We ask all new clients or new pet owners to complete our Fear Free Questionnaire prior to their first visit with us. This checklist enables our staff to learn more about your pet to better prepare for their appointment and, as a result, care for your pet’s overall emotional and physical well-being.
PRE-VISIT ACTION – 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 office. Reducing pre-visit anticipated anxiety starts them off on the right paw!
CALMING AIDS – When you arrive for your appointment, one of our reception team members will greet you with a calming aid to help your pet stay relaxed during their visit. We spray “Adaptil” pheromone calming aid on bandanas for dogs, and we use “Feliway” pheromone calming aid on blankets to be placed over cat carriers. All bandanas and blankets are thoroughly washed after each use, and then resprayed before another use. We re-spray several times throughout the day to ensure the calming aid benefits are effective for all appointments. We ask all our patients to use one during their visit. Additionally, we use a pheromone diffuser in our waiting room and in each of the exam rooms to keep the environment calming, as well as play scientifically proven calming music for pets throughout the hospital.
TREATS – In addition to lots of cheers and positive verbal affirmations, your pet will also receive lots of food rewards, including peanut-free butter, squeeze cheese, chicken, and assorted hard treats. If you’re a new client, we’ll let them try our smorgasbord of treats to find their favorite and begin positive reinforcement right away. Our team will also add these treats as part of your pet’s file notes so that all staff for future visits is aware of their preferences, too. Bring your pet hungry!
LESS RESTRAINT – 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!
APPOINTMENT ADJUSTMENTS – When a patient appears distressed, we STOP what we are doing and come up with a new plan that will work better for them. It is no longer acceptable to “just get it done.” We frequently encounter scenes of fearful pets: reluctance to come through the doorway, tucking themselves away, shaking continuously, etc. 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 much-needed care may be put off due to the concern. We take into consideration the patient’s emotional state and proceed appropriately, which may mean that some things will not get done during a visit. For example, if the patient elevates to moderate signs of fear, anxiety, and stress during an exam, then less time-sensitive services, such as a nail trim, may need to be done at a separate time to reduce the risk of escalating the patient any further and remain respectful. Our mission with Fear Free is to reduce fear, anxiety, and stress to make sure your pet safely gets the care they need, when they need it!
BEHAVIORAL CONSULTATIONS – Has your dog ever had a traumatic vet experience? A behavioral consultation is another way to figure out the next step for you and your pup before you even walk through the door! We offer behavioral consultations with Dr. Loeffler for anyone with behavioral concerns for their pets. While Dr. Loeffler mainly works with dogs, she isn’t biased against kitties, and she will help anyone who needs it! She will come up with a personalized training/treatment plan to help you achieve your goals at home, in addition to creating a strategy to attend vet visits with as little stress as possible. Each care plan is customized to your specific pet’s needs. All consultations are via Zoom to allow for more scheduling and travel flexibility. So, whether your pet needs training on cooperative care skills, a sedation treatment, or another form of behavior service, the Dr. can plan for your family before you ever even come into the building. Learn more here.
HAPPY VISITS – Bring your pets by to say hello during a “happy visit!” Happy visits are beneficial for dogs and cats of all ages! If you have a pet who is fearful or stressed when 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 into a pet who loves coming in! For puppies, this service is especially helpful because regular happy visits at this critical stage in their development will help your puppy have a lifetime of good visits with their veterinarian. Overall, this assists with minimizing their pre-visit stress and instead help to create some positive reinforcement associated with the location. We encourage all owners to take advantage of this easy service, so please call our office to schedule a happy visit so we can be sure there is enough staff available for this service in addition to other appointments.