SARATOGA SPRINGS — A new veterinarian practice, now open in Saratoga Springs is utilizing a fairly new concept in the world of animal care called “fear free.” The fear-free approach is similar to that of pediatric dentists, that focus on the patient’s comfort and experience from beginning to end.
“I wanted it to be kind of small, family-oriented, community-oriented, and have a personal touch. Where I worked previously was good in that it shaped what I wanted in a practice,” said Dr. Sara Ryan, owner and veterinarian at Spring Family Veterinary Hospital.
According to Ryan, fear-free practice starts with the hospital design. This includes minimizing wait times and making adjustments to waiting rooms that are separated for cats and dogs.
“Cats are, in particular, very sensitive to the pheromones or like that sixth sense sort of smell of dogs and other cats... They don’t want to have a dog sticking their nose in the carrier if they’re in a crowded waiting room,” Ryan said. The separate waiting rooms offer natural light and use pheromones to help ease the animal’s anxiety. Pets can walk freely in their designated waiting room or be kept away from other animals.
Pet owners can also now be present when x-rays or other treatments are administered so the pet does not have to be away from the owner.
There is a certification and evaluation process in order to be a fear-free veterinarian hospital, along with required continuing education.
Ryan says that the concept originated on the West coast of the United States; “probably in 10 to 15 years everybody will have the same idea but it’s kind of new for now,” said Ryan.
Located at 9 Hampstead Place Suite in Saratoga Springs, Spring Family Veterinary Hospital is 3,100 square feet and has day and weekend hours. For more information visit www.springsfamilyvet.com.