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Fear Free Veterinary Care Now Available for Rochester Pets

Local veterinarian earns certification to ease pets’ fear, anxiety during visits

Can you imagine telling your dog, “Let’s go to the vet!” and seeing her tail wag? How about getting out your cat’s carrier and seeing him come running?

Local pet owners won’t need to imagine it if they visit Perinton Veterinary Hospital. Dr. Ken Scheider, hospital director, and Kathy Sercu, technician supervisor, are part of a new initiative sweeping veterinary medicine designed to ease the stress, fear and anxiety that so many pets experience while at the veterinarian.

The Fear Free certification program takes a comprehensive approach to reducing stress during veterinary visits and decreasing anxiety for companion animals at home. Reducing fear, stress and anxiety during veterinary visits allows for enhanced patient and client experiences.

"My recent experiences with pediatrician offices and pediatric dentists triggered my interest in what we could do to make veterinary visits less stressful for pets," Dr. Scheider said. "With pediatrics, the focus is to provide the necessary care in a low-stress environment and this should be our goal in veterinary medicine. It was perfect timing because as I was starting to think about this I came upon the Fear Free certification program."

Founded by veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker, the Fear Free training program was developed by board-certified veterinary behaviorists, veterinary technician behavior specialists, board-certified veterinary anesthetists, well-known veterinary practice management experts, and boarded veterinary practitioners with experience in Fear Free methods.

"At Perinton Veterinary Hospital, we are going to start with a few changes that we feel are going to make a big difference in how pets respond to a trip to the vet," Dr. Scheider said. "We're going to educate clients on what they can do for their pet prior to the visit to limit stress and make in-hospital modifications such as food distractions, pheromone therapy and optimize the schedule to ensure we provide a low-stress visit."

To become certified, veterinarians and veterinary staff are required to complete a comprehensive, eight-part educational course and exam. They also have to take continuing education to remain certified.

Pet owners who would like their pets to experience the Fear Free difference can schedule an appointment by calling 585-248-5566 or visit