Marty Becker, DVM, is an adjunct professor at his alma mater, the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and also at the Colleges of Veterinary Medicine at Colorado State University and the University of Missouri. He practices at North Idaho Animal Hospital, and serves as the chief veterinary correspondent for the American Humane Association. Dr. Becker is also a prolific author, having some 22 books to his name as well as countless columns for the nationally syndicated newspaper feature Pet Connection, Dogster, Catster, and on Vetstreet.com.
Dr. Becker is in the process of developing The Fear-Free Initiative, an innovative movement that will, in his words, “take the pet out of petrified and get pets back into practices.” The Fear-Free Initiative will be expanded by Dr. Becker with leading board-certified veterinary experts in partnership with additional industry sponsors, partners, and an advisory board. Fear Free will educate and certify veterinary professionals in the creation and delivery of Fear Free visits to Fear Free practices. In Fear Free practices, “taking the fear out of visiting the veterinarian will become a priority; veterinarians and technicians will treat the pet’s physical well-being as well as their emotional well-being.” The initiative is for vets, techs, and owners, in an effort to make annual checkups and unplanned veterinary visits less stressful for everyone involved. Some quotes from Dr. Becker:
“My goal is to promote the idea of practices adjusting their methods to create fear-free visits, and also to educate pet owners about how they can help make the experience more tolerable, or even downright enjoyable.”
“We do a great job of vaccinating against disease, but we don’t inoculate against fear and anxiety.”
“In the search to make veterinary visits Fear-Free for pets, one of my favorite tools is a package of deli-sliced lunch meat.”