Three things you can do to be Fear-Free-fast


Kelly Searles, practice manager at Bigger Road Veterinary Center in Springboro, Ohio, shares quick strategies any practice can implement to lower patients stress.

Overhauling your practice procedures or even rebuilding your hospital to be completely Fear-Free can seem like an unobtainable goal, or one that's far in the future for your practice. However, there are easy things you can start doing today to lessen the stress patients feel when they come to your practice. Bigger Road Veterinary Center in Springboro, Ohio, has adopted a Fear-Free philosophy for their entire practice, and practice manager Kelly Searles shares three things that anyone can implement easily and for essentially no cost.

View of the exam room doors at Bigger Road Veterinary Center.

1. Instantly move pets into the exam room. Go into the exam room as soon as you can, as often as you can, giving preference to cats.

2. Keep pets in the exam room. Have the pet and owner stay in the exam room for as long as you can, again giving cats a priority.

3. Refresh knowledge of body language signals. Brush up on pet body language and signal interpretation so you know when you can keep going and when you need to stop. “Green, yellow and red, they're giving you these signs, but we're not reading them. We can cause more harm if we're not picking up on it. So having staff that's more in tune with those signs would be huge,” Searles says.

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