We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.

403.948.2733

Your Pet Deserves a Fear Free Practice

Airdrie Animal Health Centre is the 13th certified Fear Free Practice in North America

Most pet owners know that pets need regular veterinary care to stay happy and healthy, but many people dread bringing their fearful or anxious pet to the clinic. Managing a scared animal at the vet’s office can be challenging, so many pets end up missing out on wellness visits and other important care. One study conducted by Bayer showed that almost 40% of dog owners and nearly 60% of cat owners report that their pets hate going to the vet. We want to change that!

At Airdrie Animal Health Centre, we believe all pets deserve access to regular, quality, and low-stress veterinary care. We are committed to providing a calm, stress-free environment for our patients, which is why we have taken the steps necessary to achieve our Fear Free Certification. Our entire team worked for six months to reach this level of certification so we can offer the best possible veterinary experience to our patients.

What is Fear Free Certification?

The Fear Free program was developed by Marty Becker, DVM, after recognizing the need to address the emotional well-being of patients in addition to their physical health. A panel of 160 veterinary and animal behaviour experts have come together to design best practices and recommendations for handling and interacting with pets to help them feel more at ease while visiting the vet.

The Fear Free certification program is designed to teach veterinary professionals:

  • Gentle handling techniques
  • How to recognize the subtle signs of fear in pets
  • How to create positive environmental associations with the veterinary practice

Why is a Fear Free experience important?

It has been well documented that veterinary visits can cause psychological damage to some pets. When animals have repeated exposure to an experience linked to a negative or traumatic event, it’s not easy to erase or reverse. This means that one bad veterinary visit won’t be easily forgotten and will, therefore, make subsequent visits more difficult. Our goal is to restore trust and reprogram the pet’s mind to teach them not to react in “fight-or-flight” mode once they step in the clinic door.

How is a Fear Free Practice different from other Veterinary Clinics?

We are proud to announce the completion of our Fear Free Certification. We are continually working to make our practice as comfortable as possible for our patients by implementing Fear Free techniques, including:

  • Applying gentle, fear free handling techniques that are proven to reduce stress
  • Limited or no restraint when examining or treating a pet
  • More time with each animal (this gives a pet more time to relax and build trust and a positive association)
  • Tasty treats to keep pets occupied during examinations, blood draws, and vaccinations
  • Methods of counter conditioning (like distracting a pet from potentially negative stimuli)
  • Species-specific pheromone sprays in each exam room (can also be applied to kennels or towels draped over crates while waiting)
  • Separate waiting and exam rooms for cats and dogs
  • Skid-free mats on exam tables
  • Getting on the pet’s level (if he or she doesn’t like the table, we’ll get down on the floor)
  • Knowledge and prescription of various supplements or medications that can minimize fear, anxiety or stress

All staff at Airdrie Animal Health Centre strive to serve our community in a calm, compassionate way. We hope you and your pet see a difference! As the Fear Free program says, “…let’s take the PET out of petrified.”

Category:
Much Heartfelt appreciation to All the staff at Airdrie Animal Health Center and Tails of Hope. Everyone went above and…

Randall Wall

Having moved from Ontario with our three fur babies we were looking for a vet that would take as great…

Katherine Baker

A couple of weeks ago, we had to bring our cat in to be euthanized. Everyone who we came into…

Vanexias .

Fantastic veterinary practice. The staff are kind, friendly and helpful. The office has separate doors and exam rooms for cats…

Jason Harper

First time going to a vet for my cat and left there wishing I had more cats to bring. The…

Dasius

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Why Fear Free

There are a lot of pets that are not getting the veterinary care they should be due to fear, anxiety and stress (FAS).

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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

1. We are currently operating a "closed door" policy to protect our clients and staff. This means that clients will not be allowed to enter the building. When you arrive in our parking lot, please remain in your vehicle and call us at 403-948-2733. Our staff will come to you to collect your animal for their appointment. If you do not have a phone, or if your animal is experiencing an emergency, please knock on the door to alert our staff.

2. We are still OPEN with the following hours: Monday to Friday: 9:30 am - 4:00 pm and Saturday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm.

3. At this time, appointments will only be booked when medically necessary. Any non-urgent appointment requests will be temporarily postponed. If you have an emergency that requires immediate attention, please proceed directly to McKnight 24 Hour Veterinary Hospital at 5010 – 4th Street NE, Calgary, AB and call 403-457-0911 to alert them of your arrival.

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the Online Store, please visit our website.

5. For the time being, credit cards are the preferred payment method. Debit cannot be accepted over the phone, but is available at time of pick up if ABSOLUTELY necessary. We will not be able to accept cash.

Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our jobs. We have taken these measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid, and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Airdrie Animal Health Centre