Fear Free Certified for a Better Vet Experience

At Broadway Pet Hospital, we’re determined to give you and your pet an exceptional veterinary experience. For pets, that starts with reducing their fear and anxiety at veterinary visits. With over two-thirds of our staff being Fear Free Certified Professionals, there’s no better place in Oakland to bring your pet for a less stressful experience.

Small puppy at hospital: Fear Free Certified in Oakland
Cat in pocket: Fear Free Certified in Oakland

How We Lessen Stress for Your Pet

Each cat and dog is unique, so our Fear Free Certified Professionals tailor their approach to your pet’s individual needs. With a variety of fear-free techniques, we aim to recognize anxiety and address it before it gets worse. Techniques we use include:

  • Giving cats and dogs their space. Dogs can view direct eye contact as a threat, while cats will often hide in their carrier in fear of new people and a new environment. To help put them at ease, we address you first, asking you about their medical history, behavior changes, and more, giving your pet time to get comfortable with us.
  • Low-restraint handling. When it is time to examine your pet, we’ll use only the most gentle, compassionate techniques to handle them, so they don’t feel panic from being constrained.
  • Friendly pheromones. If pets are stressed or scared, they will emit pheromones that communicate this stress to other animals, too, as a warning. We clean our exam rooms thoroughly after each patient to remove these and replace them with synthetic pheromones that mimic your pet’s natural “happy” pheromones.
  • Food motivation. What pet doesn’t love treats? We use their favorites strategically to reward them for good behavior and distract them from exams and services so we can do what we need to do quickly, safely, and efficiently.

Reducing Anxiety at Home

We know that anxiety doesn't start at the hospital--it begins at home as you prepare to bring your pet to the vet. Here are some tip for reducing anxiety at home and preparing your pet for their visit:

  • Leave hungry. Reducing your pet's food intake before a visit can help reduce nausea in the car as well as make the treats we'll be offering even more appealing!
  • Speaking of treats... Bring 50-100 tiny pieces (cut them up in necessary) of your pet's favorite treat with you. Make sure treats are no larger than half a pea or a single lick.
  • Bring familiar items. Your pet's favorite toy or a grooming brush can help relax them in an unfamiliar environment. You can also use them to distract your pet while we perform an exam or other service.
  • Use pheromones. Your pet naturally produces these on their own, but synthetic varieties can help relax them. Items that smell like home such as a T-shirt or blanket your pet sleeps on can also help.
  • Get your pet used to their carrier or seatbelt harness by taking short trips or leaving their carrier out all the time if possible.
  • Give your pet time to relieve themselves before the visit so they don't have the pressure of a full bladder or colon in the clinic.
  • Give yourselves plenty of time to get here so you can avoid being rushed.
  • Administer anti-nausea or anti-anxiety medications as prescribed, if your veterinarian has instructed you to so. If you think your pet could benefit from a medication, please talk to us when you arrive!

Learn More About What It Takes to Be Fear Free Certified

Interested in learning more techniques to help promote a stress-free veterinary visit? Check out Fear Free Pets to get tips, learn about certification, and more! Contact us today with any questions, or to schedule your fear-free appointment!

Broadway Pet Hospital

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