Like humans, pets can dread going to the doctors. Pet owners know the struggle well in trying to wrangle their pets into the car, only to have to deal with a stressed and poorly behaved animal once they arrive at the veterinarian.
There might just be a solution, however.
Fear free veterinary practices are gaining popularity across the U.S., making for happier pets, pet owners and happy clinic owners. Why? It helps the hospital’s bottom line while also helping ease animal anxiety. In fact, in Benchmarks 2016: A Study of Well-Managed Practices, 95 percent of the clinics profiled made moves to reduce pets’ anxiety and fear.
What is a Fear Free Veterinary Hospital?
Developed by Dr. Marty Becker, offering a fear free veterinary hospital environment is aimed at providing a safe, calming environment for pets, owners and veterinary care teams. Simply, veterinary practices implement fear-fear practices to help take the stress out of visiting the hospital.
Some common concessions of a fear-free veterinary practice include specific or modified rooms, like feline-only waiting areas or exam rooms. Veterinary practices have also used calming agents like pheromone products, trained staff in being fear free practices, have implemented gentle handling techniques and provide treats for pets.
By implementing these techniques, your veterinary practice most importantly is looking out for the health of pets. Why have pets be afraid of getting care and damage the bond they share with their owners?
Economic Advantages of Being Fear Free
Of course, there are other advantages too, and these include your huge benefits for your hospital.
Not only do these changes help pets and their owners when visiting your veterinary hospital, these changes can lead to an increase in profit. In fact, revenues of these well-managed practices rose by 20 percent. Other perks include increased staff morale and medical care due to a less stressful visit for pets and everyone else involved.
Dr. John Talmadge, owner of Bigger Road Veterinary Center in Springboro, Ohio, says the fear-free approach is proving popular in an interview with The Huffington Post. “We have more than doubled our business through that clinic since opening [in April] and are well ahead of where we thought we would be,” Talmadge said.
By helping make a trip to the veterinarian stress-free, owners are more likely to return after a good experience, ultimately growing your veterinary practice. If your veterinary practice decides to implement fear-free techniques, remember to market yourself as fear free and communicate with pet owners the advantages such a service is to the well-being of their pets.