Using Fear Free techniques boosts business, study results show
Fear Free helps pet feel less stressed during veterinary visits, providing clients an excellent experience while increasing practice revenue.
According to a 3-year study, incorporating Fear Free techniques continually improves key performance indicators for veterinary clinics and positively affects pets.1
Since 2016, Fear Free has offered online and in-person education to more than 110,000 veterinary and pet professionals.1 Fear Free has developed a comprehensive catalog of certification programs and courses that emphasize the emotional well-being and enrichment of pets and reduce their fear, anxiety, and stress.2 Individuals as well as veterinary practices can become Fear Free Certified.
“As a practice management consultant with over 4 decades of experience, one of my jobs is to separate fact from fiction, and I rely on research and solid data,” Louise S. Dunn, founder and CEO of Snowgoose Veterinary Management Consulting in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, said in an organizational release.2
“The data in this study show Fear Free is not a fad powered by pheromones and peanut butter, but a transformative shift where practices can be both financially successful and emotionally wealthy,” she said.
To find participants for the study, VetSuccess—a Toronto, Ontario, data and analytics company specializing in the delivery of data-driven practice management solutions—matched existing clients to the list of Fear Free Certified practices. Fear Free also contacted all other certified practices to encourage participation. Forty-one veterinary practices in the United States and Canada joined the study.1
The results showed that after 3 years of using the program, Fear Free Certified practices saw a 13.8% increase in number of patients per practice along with a 37.5% increase in feline patient forward booking and a 43.7% increase in canine patient forward booking.2 Additionally, Fear Free Certified practices noted continued revenue per patient growth year over year, and when compared with noncertified practices, they showed a significant growth in patient numbers each year.1
Along with this study conducted by VetSuccess, a Fear Free Certified professionals survey was compiled in 2020. Of the 1,429 respondents3:
- 96% agree patient care has improved since incorporating Fear Free
- 92% say the practice enjoys a more positive image
- 82% have noticed an increase in gross revenue
- 86% have noticed an increase in client visits
- 93% have documented an increase in workplace safety
- 98% would recommend Fear Free to a fellow professional
“These and other data in the report are important because they show that adopting Fear Free techniques and striving to meet certification levels does not harm business operations or the delivery of medical care. Instead, quite the opposite happens: veterinary teams are afforded more opportunities to treat their patients; clients experience a better, more relaxed visit with the team; and the team enjoys interacting with patients and clients. Thus, Fear Free is good for pets, people, and practices,” Dunn told dvm360®.
According to Marty Becker, DVM, the founder and CEO of Fear Free, “we become veterinarians purely for the love of wanting to help animals be healthy, happy, and to heal. But the reality is, we also run small businesses that must charge fees to operate. Isn’t it great when you can harness what started your journey to become a veterinarian into increased profits that allow you to pay living wages and build for the future?”
He added, “Just as the human animal bond is an irrefutable, inexhaustible source of energy for the veterinary profession, Fear Free has shown that by looking after both the health and happiness of pets, you’re also looking after the health and happiness of your practice team. You literally ‘do well, by doing good.’”
- Dunn LS. Fear Free: the long-term benefits for pets, people, and the profession. Fear Free. October 1, 2021. Accessed October 6, 2021. https://fearfreepets.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Fear-Free-The-Long-Term-Benefits-for-Pets-People-and-the-Profession-October-2021.pdf
- Study shows Fear Free techniques benefit people, pets, & veterinary practices. News release. Fear Free. October 4, 2021. Accessed October 6, 2021. http://www.prweb.com/releases/study_shows_fear_free_techniques_benefit_pets_people_veterinary_practices/prweb18237395.htm
- Fear Free, LLC. Fear Free Certified professionals survey 2020. Questionnaire. December 4, 2020.