We’re proud to be the first veterinary clinic in DuPage County with Fear Free Certified Professionals. Fear Free is a relatively new movement within the veterinary community that focuses on reducing fear, anxiety, and stress while your pet is at the veterinary clinic. Its rigorous training and certification program help veterinarians modify clinic procedures, handling, and facilities so pets feel safe and comfortable receiving the veterinary care they need.
“Implementing Fear Free techniques was a natural next step for BRVC”, says BRVC co-owner Dr. Jeffrey D. Palmer, DVM. “In addition to making sure each pet receives all of the medical treatments needed for good physical health, we’re equally committed to the emotional health of our patients.” So, what does this mean?
- If your pet shows signs of stress or anxiety before arriving at our clinic, we’ll share tips for acclimating Fluffy or Fido to a carrier and the best ways to transport them in a car to visit us. Some pets may need pre-visit medications or supplements that can help calm them and keep them happy and relaxed.
- You can choose where you’d like to wait before seeing the doctor. If you and your pet are more comfortable waiting in the car rather than the waiting room, just give us a call to let us know you’ve arrived. You also have the option of being taken directly to an exam room if your four-legged friend isn’t comfortable with other pets. Once you’re in an exam room, we’ll give you a few minutes so you can spend some calm time together. This also allows your pet to explore the room and relax a little first.
- Special calming chemical signals, known as pheromones, are infused throughout the exam room. Only dogs and cats can smell them and they find them relaxing. Every exam table is sanitized between appointments and topped with a non-slip mat and a clean, soft towel so pets aren’t exposed to the scents of others examined before their visit.
- We’ll use gentle control techniques, innovative tools and – when necessary – medication to ensure your pet’s emotional health isn’t sacrificed for the sake of medical care.
- Unless it’s medically inappropriate, we’ll give your pet lots of treats during the visit. When possible, we encourage families to bring their pet into the appointment hungry and to bring a supply of favorite treats. This is so he or she starts associating a trip to the veterinarian with good things and keeps stress levels low.
- Some pets don’t mind being examined up on a table, while others may prefer to stay in your lap, in their carrier, or on the floor. We’ll go where were need to go to make your pet comfortable during the exam. We’ll also do all we can to keep your pet focused on good experiences while we perform all necessary procedures such as blood draws, vaccines or injections. That might mean a return visit (if your pet has reached its limit) to complete what’s needed.
When asked about the benefits of using Fear Free techniques when providing veterinary care, Dr. Dana E. Johnson, DVM noted “these techniques allow us to have happier patients and happier patients get more thorough, less stressful exams”. Dr. Kathryn M. Sexton, VMD added “whenever medically appropriate, I want to make sure Fido or Fluffy see me as the treat lady, not the doctor, so they associate good things with their veterinary care”. Both doctors agree that happier patients and better medicine is truly a win-win for our pet families.
Drs. Palmer, Johnson and Sexton are the ONLY veterinarians in DuPage County to achieve Elite Fear Free Certified Professional status. Each of these amazing doctors fulfilled a minimum of 21 Fear Free-related continuing education hours and successfully completed the comprehensive Elite exam. For more information about how our doctors and veterinary care team members include Fear Free procedures when caring for your pet, please call us at 630-598-0600.