Dr. Noël Lucas
Blue Oasis Pet Hospital
Hi, I'm Dr. Noel Lucas from the Blue Oasis Pet Hospital, and I decided to talk a little bit about what it means to be a fear-free certified hospital. Fear-free is a term that has been coined in our industry of veterinary medicine to really describe the experience a pet will have when they come into our hospital. It can be scary for our patients and our pet parents to come into a veterinary care experience because of the unknown. How will the pet feel when they're with us on their visit? Are we going to do things that might be uncomfortable? The answer is yes. We often have to draw blood or give injections. So there is fear of discomfort for the pet regarding what they will experience when they're having those things done. This includes our kidney patients.
Fear-free is a concept that incorporates the thought of caring for the patient's emotional wellbeing when they come into our hospital. We have gone through extra training and certification to learn how to help our patients deal with emotional distress in a veterinary setting. So we are actively and proactively thinking about this every day for ideally every patient that we see. If it's your first time coming into blue Oasis pet hospital and you're a new client, we try to gather some potential information about your pet's experience in other veterinary settings prior to ever coming to Blue Oasis. If they've ever been to another hospital, how did that make them feel? So we want to know if they were scared to come in the front door, how were they when they were in an exam, did they experience an elevation of stress and anxiety? We want to know these things before.
Sometimes we can accommodate those patients before they even step in the door. We can have a quick consult with the pet parent and send home some calming therapy, so their experience in our hospital is different from others. If we can't get ahead of the appointment and our patients are already in our hospital, we're going to try to accommodate their discomfort. So if it's a larger dog that prefers to have an examination on the floor, we'll get down on the floor with them. If it's a little cat that is scared and feels like they need to hide, we'll put blankets and toggles around and over them so that they can hide.
We are really into giving treats here. We go through so much peanut butter, squeeze cheese, and milk bone biscuits. Our kitties really enjoy squeeze cheese. We have little chiro squeeze-ups. It's amazing how many cats enjoy food while they're at the veterinarian. Essentially, it's about engaging them in positive experiences while they're here. We also want the pet parent to be with the pet the whole time. So we want them to encourage them by reassuring them that it's okay.
We want them to comfort them. We want them to be active and present in veterinary care. This even includes us in our hospital. When you come into our hospital for x-rays, to draw blood, or maybe they're having some dental care or surgery done, we will invite you as a pet parent to stay with them.
Of course, we can't have you in the OR with us, but we'll allow you to stay with your pet up to the point where we take them into the OR. If you want to see dentistry or be there and comfort them when they're going under anesthesia for a procedure, we'll allow you to do that in this hospital. That's one way we try to reduce the fear, anxiety, and stress that our pets, and our parents, feel. It's scary to have some of these things done to your pets. We acknowledge that, and we talk you through it and allow you to see it happening so that you feel better comfort that we're going above and beyond to make it a positive, or at least as gentle an experience as we can for your pet.
If you would like to experience how a fear-free veterinary hospital functions, I invite you to check out our website at www.blueoasispethospital.com or call and talk with one of our veterinary professionals about how we are different. Thank you.
What is Fear Free?
Founded in 2016, Fear Free is a movement happening in veterinary medicine and pet care. The Fear Free mission is to prevent and alleviate fear, anxiety, and stress in pets. Developed and written by the most respected veterinary and pet experts in the world, including boarded veterinary behaviorists, boarded veterinary anesthesiologists, pain experts, boarded veterinary internists, veterinary technicians (behavior), experts in shelter medicine, animal training, grooming, boarding, and more.
By closely listening to the needs of the profession and those of pet owners, Fear Free has become one of the single most transformative initiatives in the history of companion animal practice, providing unparalleled education on emotional wellbeing, enrichment, and the reduction of fear, anxiety, and stress in pets.
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