Fear Free

Victoria Veterinary Clinic would like to congratulate our veterinarians, Dr. Denita Shtuka, Dr. Lisa Rymes, Dr. Katherine Patzwald and Dr. Lindsay Murphy, on achieving their Fear Free Certification. This program focuses on reducing fear, anxiety and stress in our companion animals when visiting us. Our doctors learned methods that promote a considerate approach and gentle control techniques to improve everyone’s experiences during the appointment.

Possible Techniques:

Treats or toys. Treating keeps stress levels low and rewards calm behavior while building a positive association between the veterinarian and your pet. Food sensitivity? Picky eater? Feel free to bring in your dog or cat’s favourite treat or toy for us to use as an alternative!


Cat friendly techniques. We have tried to limit the wait time for all our patients, especially our feline friends, in the reception area. Allowing your cat to acclimatize to the quiet exam room and venturing out of their carrier on their own terms is very important for a fear free appointment. When possible, examinations can be performed in the base of the carrier when the top and door have been removed.


Slippery floors can be frightening to dogs. Throughout our practice you will notice non-slip mats and grips to provide a steady surface for your dog to stand on during their exam or procedure.


Touch gradient. The touch gradient approach is being demonstrated with “Fluffy.” The veterinarian begins with gentle, non-invasive touch and then rewards this association. As this behaviour is accepted, she moves on to place an instrument, such as her stethoscope, against the patient. This helps the pet establish a calming reaction to the procedure.


Medication is available. Our veterinarians are current on the latest behavioural modification medications that may be appropriate for our very fearful or anxious pets. In some cases, medication can be administered prior to your pet’s appointment to support a more relaxed state.


Comments are closed.