What is Fear Free Certification?

Great Careers Start Here

  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Do you ever feel nervous when you visit the doctor? Maybe you don’t know what to expect, or you’re worried about some test results. Now imagine if you didn’t even understand what the tests were for, had no idea what to expect from the exams, and just happened to be of an entirely different species from your doctor! Pets can get scared and anxious just like you. But they can’t tell you—or can they?

The Fear Free Certification program teaches you how to figure out what a pet might be thinking when they come to visit the veterinarian. And if you’re a Veterinary Assistant, it can really make a difference to the animals you care for and the career you plan to have. With training from the Fear Free Veterinary Certification Program, you can help your patients feel safe and loved.

What You Learn in Fear Free Certification

The Fear Free program is designed to teach veterinary professionals how to alleviate anxiety and fear in the animals you treat. The program shows you how to avoid actions and behaviors that can trigger anxiety at home, on the way to your facility, and in your waiting room. The program is broken up into eight modules that cover specific topics:

  • Behavior Modification Basics—In this module, you learn how your body language can indicate stress, how to positively reinforce good behavior, and how animals perceive different environments.
  • Transport—You learn the general guidelines and best practices for transporting cats and dogs to and from your facility. This information is important because you also need to share it with animal owners.
  • Reception and Waiting Area—You discover how to make the waiting area comfortable for patients.
  • Exam Room—You learn how to approach animals, how to adjust your voice and actions to make animals more comfortable, and how to communicate with pet owners.
  • In-Hospital Care—You learn how to properly transport animals to the treatment area and how to reduce anxiety in animals that have to stay at the facility overnight.
  • Fear Free Procedures—In this module, you learn how to identify the best locations to provide a Fear Free experience, what strategies can be used to move animals, and how to gently handle animals in the kennel.
  • Pre-Visit Protocols—This module teaches you about products, therapies, and pharmaceutical regimens that can reduce fear in animals.
  • In-Hospital Protocols—After this module, you will better understand the advantages and disadvantages of using drugs for sedation and anesthesia when animals must stay in the hospital.

At the end of each module, you will take an exam to test how well you learned the information. Once you successfully pass an exam, you’ll be able to move onto the next module. When you have completed all eight modules and passed all eight exams, you will earn the Fear Free Certificate.

To keep your certification active, you need to pay an annual renewal fee. After three years, you will also need to recertify. To do that, you take an additional four hours of Fear Free courses and pay a recertification fee.

How to Become Certified

If you want to become a Veterinary Assistant, the Fear Free Certification can help you stand out from the crowd. It provides you with a special skillset that will benefit your patients, and it looks great on your resume. While you can earn the certification independently, you can also enroll in training that includes it as part of your program.

At Charter College, we incorporate Fear Free Certification into our Veterinary Assistant program so you can learn how to ease fear and anxiety in pets from the start. By the time you graduate, you’ll be Fear Free Certified and ready to begin your career as a Veterinary Assistant. Call 888-200-9942 or fill out the form to learn more.