Is your pet scared to visit the vet?

The BC SPCA is hoping to make vet visits less stressful for pets and their guardians by integrating a new approach to handling and caring for animals called “Fear Free.”

A statement from the animal protection agency says the Fear-Free program has been launched at the BC SPCA’s Penticton Veterinary Hospital and will be rolled out in all BC SPCA vet clinics across B.C. this year.

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The Fear Free approach was pioneered by a Colorado-based veterinarian who developed the program to create a better and safer experience for pets, their guardians and veterinary health care teams.

“Our staff members have completed their Fear Free certification, which encompasses everything from how to design reception areas, check-in procedures and exam rooms that reduce stress and anxiety for pets, to gentle control handling techniques that reduce fear in animals,” says Karen Retallick, practice manager for the BC SPCA Penticton Animal Hospital.

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Staff can also provide suggestions on how to reduce stress while transporting pets to and from the vet.

“Our goal is to help animals and their guardians have the best possible experience, from the moment they leave their homes until they return. We believe our Fear Free certification brings a value-added service to all those who visit our clinics.”

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The animal hospital offers services for both owned animals as well as abused, injured and homeless animals in SPCA care.

The veterinary hospital is operated and managed by the BC SPCA. It acquired the hospital from veterinarian Dr. Steve Harvey after he retired in 2015.

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