Local vet's office is creating fear-free environment for pets

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TOWNSEND, Tenn. (WVLT News) -- Townsend Animal Clinic is one of few veterinary clinics in East Tennessee that is ran by a certified fear-free veterinarian. This certification means that vets are trained to ease anxiety and stress that pets can experience during check-ups.

Dr. Morgan is one of few Fear Free certified veterinarians in East Tennessee. / Source: WVLT News

Veterinarians say there are many factors that can cause stress in your pet during a doctor visit, like seeing the white lab coats and exam tables. Dr. Morgan Detweiler says Townsend Animal Clinic was created to combat those things. The clinic has comfy chairs and couches and it is painted with calming colors like soft blue. Detweiler says you won't find a white lab coat or many exam tables in her office.

Detweiler says there things vets can do to ease your pet's anxiety at the office, but there are also things you can do before your pet's appointment to help like setting out the pet carrier a few days before their scheduled appointment and wiping it down with special wipes that contain calming hormones.

"We don't use a lot of muzzles because we don't have to," said Detweiler. "We don't get bitten and the owners are a lot happier whenever they leave because they don't feel like their animal was tortured the whole time."

Detweiler says limiting the amount of stress pets encounter with vet visits with positive reinforcements and treats can also reduce the amount of other health issues pets experience.

"Like in humans, the anxiety and stress can lead to medical issues in patients." said Detweiler. "Taking the emotional health of the patients into consideration versus just getting the job done and getting them out of here, we're doing a lot better for the patient and we can keep them healthier."

The Townsend Animal Clinic officially opened for business at the end of July, but the clinic will host its Grand Opening celebration on August 24 at 1 p.m. All of the proceeds fro the event will go to Misfit Dog Project, an organization that fosters rescue dogs.

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