Dr. Marty Becker and Mikkel Becker on the horrifying ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ abuse footage As a veterinarian and trainer, respectively, both with a lifetime commitment to equally honoring the physical and emotional well-being of the animals we care for, we were profoundly disturbed by the leaked footage of a dog suffering terror on the set of th ... Read More Acceptable Losses: When Losing a Client Is Okay By Kathyrn Primm, DVM I lost a client today because of Fear Free. I knew it would probably happen, but I was not ready for the scathing email. She accused us of "requiring drugging" and asserted that she would not drug her dog "for any reason". She thought it was ridiculous that we "hurried her to an exam room" because her dog was frantically barking and explained that her dog always barks like that because she is "just a barker".  She was a fairly ... Read More Fear Free Certification: An Investment for the Entire Staff By Mikkel Becker, CPDT-KA, CDBC, CTC, KPA Graduate Inspired by a local Fear Free seminar, Dr. Mike Lappin and his staff at The Animal House began to track the body language of pets visiting their practice.  "It was enlightening to see that about 75% of our pets are showing some stress/anxiety signs," says Lappin.  With a desire to tackl ... Read More Kayla Gets Off to a Good Start with a Fear Free Vet Visit By Dr. Marty Becker There’s nothing like having had pet who was terrified of going to the veterinarian to get your next dog off on the right paw. That’s what Kayla’s owners did with their now-two-year-old German Shepherd, who I saw recently for itching and dental issues. Knowing the history, all of us went out of our way to make this a Fear Fre ... Read More Fear Free Helps Abused Dog Become a Lucky Penny By Dr. Marty Becker Penny is a tiny female Pomeranian who was rescued from an abusive home. She is very anxious and fearful. This was her first visit to our hospital, and I was determined to make it a wonderful one, so we pulled out all the stops. Penny came in on Trazadone. We saw her in exam room five, which has lots of space, allowing Penny and her owner, Susan, to relax into the room. They listened to calming music while Penny breathed in soothing pheromones for ten minutes before the ... Read More Introducing the Fear Free Podcast Series Becoming Fear Free certified is certainly an accomplishment, but it can't stop there. Seeing the benefits of how you implement Fear Free theories, techniques and strategies into your practice takes more than just a certificate. In our recently launched Fear Free podcast series, we help you take your certification to the next level. Featuring discussions with certified Fear Free professionals that are on the forefront of Fear Free, you can hear real world examples, advice, insights and more. A ... Read More 5 Tips for Keeping Your Dog Stress Free on Fourth of July By Mikkel Becker, CPDT-KA, CDBC, CTC. KPA Graduate The Fourth of July is an exciting time of year, but it can also be a stressful one for your dog. Here are five tips to making sure your dog is prepped and ready for the big day! 1. During the Fourth of July and days leading up to it, fearful dogs are li ... Read More How I Became Fear Free Certified and Why You Should Too By Kathryn Primm, DVM I make lists, always have. Lists help me prioritize what is important to me. As a part of my writing, I often publish lists to try to help others too. Speaking of what’s important, there was moment several years ago that I realized I spend more time being a veterinarian than I do anything else in my life. Becoming a veterinarian was my childhood dream, ... Read More Why This Veterinarian Examined a Dog Outside the Clinic By Dr. Marty Becker Benjamin is an 11-year-old Bassett mix with extreme fear of a veterinary clinic. So we took the veterinary clinic outside to him.  Benjamin came in on the sedative Trazadone wearing a Thundershirt, and I laid a trail of treats up the path off of the walking trail to a bench right outside the veterinary practice. He followed the trail up to me, where I was able to use the laser on him. Benjamin went from being a 9 on a scale of 10 for fearfulness, down to a 5 in ... Read More Fear Free℠ Pet Visits: How to take the pet out of petrified By Dr. Marty Becker, January 14, 2016 -  Nobody should dread a trip to the vet. Not the pet and not the pet owner. I’ve been working with a team of experts for six years to create Fear Free? visits for pets and I’m excited to tell you that "taking the pet out of petrified" is the single most transformative practice mandate I’ve ever witnessed in 36-years of practice. Practices that have the pet’s emotional wellbeing (pet owners' too I migh ... Read More Congratulations, you’re Fear Free certified! What’s next? The Fear Free Certification Program is off to a great start, with over 1,000 veterinary professionals registered since its debut at AAHA Austin 2016. But what happens after the courses are complete? Read more about the benefits after certification on Red:  ... Read More Happy Dog, happy vet! By Dr. Marty Becker -  When a dog named "Happy" comes in, don't we owe her a Fear Freesm veterinary visit to live up to her name? Fortunately, Happy and her owner, Deb, came to see me at North Idaho Animal Hospital, ... Read More Veterinary Visits: As simple as 1, 2, 3…Fear Free! Dr. Marty Becker -  Is there anything better for a veterinarian or veterinary nurse than seeing an excited new puppy wiggling like he has a belly full of Mexican Jumping Beans, pile-driving us with kisses, and giving puffs of sweet-and-sour puppy breath with every slap of the tongue? I’ll answer for all of us veterinary professionals: No! New puppies are a big part of what makes this profession emotionally wealthy. ... Read More A Dog’s Taste Buds and Tail Are Connected By Dr. Marty Becker, April 28, 2016 -  There is no more noticeable and understandable sign of a calm and happy dog than a wagging tail – and there’s no better way to get a pet to wag her tail than to open a bag of treats! If you want to see the connection between the mouth and tail in action, just fork over the tastiest tidbits and you’ll see anything from a feather-duster-like swish to a tail-wag so hard the dog’s rear legs start march ... Read More Canine Stress in the Vet's Waiting Room By Companion Animal Psychology,, March 23, 2016 Almost 30% of dogs are highly stressed in the waiting room, but owners don’t necessarily know if their dog is stressed or not. Read the full article -   ... Read More Fear Free℠ is easier than you think By Dr. Marty Becker, March 24, 2016 -  Are you worried that Fear Free? veterinary practice is too difficult or time-consuming? Trust me; it's not. I've been intimately involved with Fear Free? from its embryonic stages to the development of education modules for certification. I've lectured to thousands on its merits, and practiced it one-on-one in the exam room and veterinary hospital for more than six years. What I've discovered is that, like any other ... Read More Fear Free℠ veterinarians aim to reduce stress for pets By Sue Manning, Associated Press, January 16, 2016 -  Trips to the veterinarian leave Joy so scared, she gets sick. The black Lab-mix dog shakes and shivers, her heart rate jumps, her blood pressure spikes, her temperature rises, her eyes dilate and she cowers under anything she can get beneath. After trying vet after vet for 14 years, the dog's owner Debby Trinen of Sandpoint, Idaho, has finally found relief for Joy's stress from a new approach to veterinary care called ... Read More Fear Free℠ Webinar As a profession, we can't ignore the fact that fewer and fewer pet owners are taking their pets to the veterinarian. Recent studies have validated our gut feelings as to why owners are using us only for animals that are sick and don't get better, have injuries from accidents, or need procedures required by law. It's just not worth the “hurt to the pet” or the “hassle to the owner” to bring pets to the veterinarian. During this web conference, Dr. Marty Becker ... Read More

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