Your Veterinary Voice, Episode 17: Meet Marty Becker, DVM
Some know him as a long-time favorite CVC—now Fetch dvm360 conference—speaker and dvm360 contributor. Some know him as “America’s veterinarian”—a book author and TV celebrity. Some just know him as their vet in Sandpointe, Idaho. But you veterinary professionals may find it impossible to think about Marty Becker, DVM, without bringing up the movement he’s spreadheading—Fear Free.
In his lectures, writings—even passing conversations—Dr. Becker is obsessed with the topic. In this episode of "Your Veterinary Voice," dvm360 Business Channel Director Brendan Howard sat down with the man himself and—no surprise—the conversation kept returning to that revolutionary approach to practicing veterinary medicine.
"It was just the right thing to do," he says. "Nobody gets into veterinary medicine to make life worse for animals. I always thought of it as collateral damage, the fear, anxiety and stress. Didn't think about [that] as the reason pet owners aren't coming in."
And that’s where this episode starts.
Does he catch heat for this stuff? When you find yourself in the spotlight—especially in this day and age of the instantly published social media hot take—you may be subject to knee-jerk scrutiny, scathing armchair criticism and, yes, even death threats. And Dr. Becker is no stranger to the spotlight. He explained to us how his passion sometimes puts him in the public crosshairs. Jump to 9:25 hear how this has played out.
What's next on the low-stress horizon? There’s another component to Fear Free that’s getting lots of play of late: pet enrichment. On the surface it might seem like another reason to sell clients pet toys and doodads, but it’s actually much more important than that. Head to 15:14 to check out Dr. Becker's take on enrichment.
Does Dr. Becker need to go back to basics too? Yes. Dr. Becker, superstar vet, didn’t even know the right way to pet a dog until his daughter, Mikkel—a licensed dog trainer— told him! Actually, though—are you doing it right?
"This mistake is made at every veterinary hospital by almost every single person," he says.
Jump to 27:45 to find out more.
So, where's all this leading? While many are skeptical about the state of the veterinary profession, Dr. Becker is bullish.
"I want us to reclaim being the true pet health expert," he says. "We cannot continue to allow pet store employees to be the true pet health expert."
He has definite ideas of where the field needs to go and how to get there. If you must skip around, skip to 30:06 to hear more about Dr. Becker's prognosis for the future.
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