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Fear Free helps fund numerous research projects

Recent and future studies aim to alleviate stress in pets.

Fear Free helps fund numerous research projects
From left, Dr. Ragen McGowan, Fear Free founder Dr. Marty Becker and Amanda Hampton.

Fear Free has handed out thousands of dollars in support to researchers looking for ways to prevent or reduce fear, anxiety and stress in pets.

The Denver company, which now offers Fear Free certification courses to veterinary and pet professionals, reported issuing grants or cash awards worth $1,000 to $2,500 to:

  • Ragen McGowan, Ph.D., of Nestle Purina Research, who studied the effects of the probiotic Bifidobacterium longum (BL999) on anxiety in 24 Labrador retrievers.
  • Amanda Hampton, a fourth-year veterinary student at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine. She found that in comparison to silence and classical music, cat-specific music played before and during physical exams may decrease stress levels.
  • Ludovica Pierantoni, a veterinary behaviorist from Naples, Italy, for her research demonstrating that puppy classes can positively affect the behavior of dogs separated from their litters too early.
  • Joao Da Silva-Monteiro, a Portuguese veterinary behavior resident, for his poster reviewing the use of psychoactive drugs to change stress behaviors of dogs and cats during hospitalization.
  • Alexis S. Deriberprey, a veterinary student researcher at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, who found that cats experience more stress when physical exams are conducted in the treatment room rather than in the exam room.

Three 2019 projects also received funding:

  • Research by a Purdue University veterinary behavior resident into how a single dose of oral gabapentin can affect dogs during a veterinary examination.
  • Student research at the Western University College of Veterinary Medicine on how enhanced human-animal interactions might reduce canine stress curing veterinary visits.
  • An evaluation of the effects of alpha-casozepine in reducing fear, anxiety and stress during veterinary consultations. The research will be conducted by a member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists.
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