Summerville’s Only Fear Free Certified Practice

What it means to be Fear Free

As a Fear Free Certified Practice, we pledge to always hold each pet’s emotional and physical wellbeing in mind as we provide care for them. We know it is not possible to treat one without the other. Our team is specialty trained to recognize and treat even subtle signs of fear, anxiety and stress in the patients we care for. 

Fear Free Certified Team

Every member of our team is a Fear Free Certified Professional. We are well educated to recognize canine and feline body language and particularly signs of fear, stress and anxiety. We will work with you and your pet during their visit to reduce any fear, stress, or anxiety your pet may be experiencing. During every visit we will use compassionate handling techniques along with positive reinforcement in the form of treats and toys. We strive to never push a pet to do anything they are not comfortable with. We will gladly examine your pet on the floor, in your lap or even outside if this makes their visit more enjoyable. We will always communicate with you every step of the way while your pet is in our care. 

Fear Free Certified Practice

Fear Free practice certification takes implementation to a whole new level. As a certified practice, we have incorporated Fear Free into everything we do, from the way the building was designed to our team culture and values. Fear Free certified practices must pass an extensive online assessment and have a successful site visit with a Fear Free Practice Certification Veterinarian. Fear Free certified practices must complete this rigorous assessment every three years to maintain their standing. Cane Bay Veterinary Clinic is proud to be Summerville’s first and only Fear Free Certified Practice since 2019. 

What you will notice that makes us different

From the moment you enter the door of Cane Bay Veterinary Clinic, you may notice things are a little different here. Everything from the music playing to the colors on the wall were chosen to make your pet’s visit less stressful. Upon entry, we will do our best to take you and your pet to an exam room right away to avoid the stress of waiting in the lobby. Throughout the visit your pet will be given lots of treats and toys to make the visit more positive and fun! Species-specific calming pheromones are also diffused throughout the entire building. Our team will approach your pet in a calm and gentle manner and try to keep your pet in the room with you even for treatments and procedures when we are able. If your pet needs to stay with us for the day, rest assured that we will continue to treat them with the same calm and considerate approach that we would in the exam room with you. We want your pets to LOVE coming to see us!

Happy Visits

Happy visits are designed to build trust in our patients to reduce fear or prevent it from ever occurring. During a happy visit we avoid anything stressful such as needle pokes, temperature taking or restricting their movement as we would during a traditional vet visit. During this visit we want to build your pet’s trust bank with lots of treats, toys and love! These visits are unscheduled and are usually short, only lasting five to ten minutes. 
Generally, a member of our team will assess your pet’s comfort level. Depending on how comfortable your pet is, we may walk them around the clinic, visit an exam room, hop on the scale or spend a few minutes playing in our back yard while providing lots of treats. These are truly just a fun visit and a chance to say hello while nothing “bad” happens. These visits are ideally done frequently for a short amount of time to keep your pet focused and to not overstimulate them. These visits are recommended as frequently as is convenient for you, typically weekly to monthly. 

Behavior Consultations

For pets who are extremely fearful in the clinic, working with a trainer or behavior consultant on cooperative care can be fundamental in overcoming their fear of the veterinary clinic. We have great working relationships with several trainers and a licensed veterinary technician who is specialized in behavior that we can refer you to when needed. 

Pre-Visit Pharmaceuticals (PVPs)

Many pets are anxious and fearful when they visit the veterinarian and often benefit from pre-visit pharmaceuticals or medications. These medications have a calming effect on your pet and help to reduce their fear and anxiety. This allows them to be more comfortable with the handling and procedures that we need to perform and ultimately allows them to build trust with our team over time. These medications also reduce the cortisol release that many pets experience during stressful situations. This release of cortisol can be detrimental to your pet’s health and helping to reduce this response with medications is certainly beneficial to your pet! These medications may make your pet sleepy at home, but that is OK! It will definitely make your trip to the vet more peaceful, not only for your furry friend but for you too!

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Monday to Thursday - 8am to 6pm
Friday - 8 am to 12pm - 2pm to 6pm

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