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We're Fear Free Certified Professionals

At Best Friends Animal Hospital in Fayetteville, your pet’s mental well-being is just as important to us as their physical health. That’s why members of our staff, including veterinarians Dr. Shearhart and Dr. Hill, have undergone training to become Fear Free Certified Professionals.

Certification includes extensive training in both recognizing fear and anxiety in pets, and learning techniques to reduce and even eliminate their fear. We plan to continue training members of our staff so that the entire hospital becomes a fear-free place for pets.

Fear Free Certified Veterinarian: Young Woman Teaches Dog To Shake
Fear Free Certified Veterinarian: Dog Sitting Outside
Fear Free Certified Veterinarian: Cat Laying On Hardwood Floor
Fear Free Certified Veterinarian: Woman Carrying Dog
Fear Free Certified Veterinarian: Cat Sitting Outside

Fear Free Techniques

Our fear free techniques vary based on your pet’s unique needs and reactions. Our Fear Free Certified Professionals are trained to recognize things that trigger your pet’s fear, and then act accordingly to either remove the trigger or create a positive association to change your pet’s perception of it. All of our techniques are based around the core principles of positive reinforcement and appealing to your pet’s natural instincts.

Some of our techniques include:

  • Low-stress handling. Restraining dogs and cats does little to build their confidence in us, so we use gentle, low-stress handling to reduce any feeling of panic. It also helps us perform a thorough physical exam without them tensing up from fear.
  • Praise for good behavior. Positive reinforcement thrives on rewarding good behavior. Whenever your pet cooperates, even if it’s for a simple shot, or sitting quietly for an ear exam, we praise them excessively to build their trust in us and create a positive experience to remember us by.
  • Food motivation. Most pets love treats, so if we’re having trouble examining them, drawing blood, or performing any other service, we’ll use food motivation to encourage cooperation, or to simply distract them while we get our work done!
  • Giving cats and dogs their space. Cats are notoriously shy, while dogs can be wary and protective around strangers. To get them comfortable, we give them the time they need to warm up to us by addressing you first. We'll ask you questions about their health and well-being so they can see that you trust us, and they can trust us too.
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Give Your Pet a Fear Free Experience

Your best friend deserves the highest quality of care—for both their physical and mental health! Choosing Fear Free Certified Professionals for their care means they’ll receive quality veterinary medicine that doesn’t compromise their mental and emotional health. Schedule an appointment with us today to experience the Fear Free difference!

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Best Friends Animal Hospital & Pet Hotel

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