Fear Free Certification Program launches at AAHA

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Illustration: Fear Free - Taking the pet out of petrified.The new Fear Free Certification Program aims to help companion animal practices with preventing veterinary visits from being stressful for patients and clients.

The program launched during the opening session of the yearly conference of the American Animal Hospital Association, March 31 through April 3 in Austin, Texas. Introductory pricing is $139 for students, $279 for other individuals, and $1,399 for groups of up to 10 individuals.

Dr. Marty Becker created the overall Fear Free initiative. Announcing the certification program at the AAHA conference was Dr. John Talmadge, a member of the Fear Free Executive Committee and co-owner of Bigger Road Veterinary Clinic in Springboro, Ohio.

“Fear Free is all about creating an environment that helps reduce the feelings of fear, anxiety, and stress in our patients by promoting a considerate approach and gentle control techniques in a calming environment, which results in an experience that is much more rewarding and safe for our patients, our clients, and the entire veterinary health care team,” Dr. Talmadge said.

AAHA is providing the corporate home for the Fear Free Certification Program. The education modules are available via VetFolio, an online platform for continuing education that is a joint partnership of AAHA and the North American Veterinary Community.

The certification program trains veterinary professionals in Fear Free methods and protocols. The education modules were created by veterinary behaviorists, veterinary technician behavior specialists, veterinary anesthesiologists, experts in practice management, and practitioners experienced in Fear Free methods.

Fear Free certification requires veterinary professionals to complete an eight-module online program. Certification is valid for three years. Ongoing participation in Fear Free education, both online and in person, is necessary to maintain certification status.

The program website is here.