What is Fear Free?
Fear Free℠ techniques take your pet’s emotional needs into account, not just their physical needs. We will be observing your pet’s body language to guide which techniques we use. These may include using species specific pheromones, Harp Enrichment Therapy music, tossing treats to your pet, positioning ourselves at a distance or facing away from your pet, not making eye contact, and gentle and respectful restraint techniques to minimize any fear, anxiety, and stress your pet may be feeling.
Some signs of fear, anxiety, and stress can include:
- Whale eye (showing the whites of their eyes) or looking away
- Having their tail tucked between their legs
- Moving away from being touched or freezing
- Dilated pupils
- Raising their hackles, fluffing up their haircoat
- Hissing (cats)
- Licking lips
Signs of pets being relaxed:
- “Soft” eyes
- Approaching with friendly, wagging tail (or cats with tails up)
- Relaxed body posture
Our goal is to provide as gentle and peaceful a transition as is possible. Some pets have deeply ingrained fears and we will do our best to minimize it. There may be situations where the fear response is so great that we must cause a little discomfort (a sedative injection, for instance), in order to decrease the pet’s anxiety. In any case, we will be as gentle and respectful as we can safely be.
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