Fear Free is a Natural Fit

Fear Free is a Natural Fit
Earlysville team members are each Fear Free Certified
August 5, 2022

Our network is full of forward-thinking, driven, and compassionate team members. It is not surprising that many individuals, and in some cases whole practices, have put the time and effort into becoming Fear Free certified. Fear Free certification involves learning about “emotional wellbeing, enrichment, and the reduction of fear, anxiety, and stress in pets and improving the experience of every human and pet involved.” - Fear Free

We are constantly evolving along with the veterinary industry. This is one way our teams are able to adapt to continue to offer the highest level of care to their patients, support their client's education, and contribute to the well-being of coworkers.

At Tender Touch Veterinary Hospital they have made the commitment to become a Fear Free Practice. As part of their onboarding process, new staff have a CE requirement to complete certification within their first year. Clients are given training pamphlets to help them practice Fear Free techniques in order to keep things low stress while at home and learn what a Fear Free visit involves.


Tender Touch Team having a Fear Free visitWhen asked how Fear Free changed the environment in the practice, Clara Steeves CVT, VCC, LSHC, Hospital Manager said, “I think that being Fear Free reduces staff stress a lot! We get into this profession because we love pets, so it goes against that to hold pets down while they struggle. We know that dogs can't understand why we need to poke them with needles, so it's understandable that they may find that experience very scary. We can use techniques such as minimal restraint, gradient of touch, offering treats and toys, and allowing pet parents to stay in the room to help let the pet know that we're there to help. It's amazing what you can accomplish with just ear rubs and easy cheese!”


Earlysville showing Fear Free techniquesThe team members at Earlysville Animal Hospital are individually certified as Fear Free, and they will soon become a Fear Free Practice.

“Fear Free is a safer way to interact with pets for both the patients and the staff. If pets are less anxious about their visits and their owners understand that they are less anxious, owners are more willing to schedule appointments,” Dr. Kathi Gruss, DVM, COS at Earlysville Animal Hospital. Dr. Gruss also adds that a Fear Free hospital is a more enjoyable place to work for all the staff. 

As our teams continue to adapt to the needs of their patients and clients, as well as the needs of their coworkers and themselves, we are there to support them. Continuing education is a large part of feeling connected to the initial motivation we all had when we started our careers in veterinary medicine. Fear Free is a natural fit for many of our practices, in fact over 75 of them are Fear Free Certified or have Fear Free Certified team members. If you are a VetCor employee reach out to your hospital manager to find out more.