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Fear Free improves clinic revenue, study finds

Research finds that alleviating fear, anxiety and stress in pets leads to more patients and more business.

Fear Free improves clinic revenue, study finds

A study of 20 veterinary hospitals has shown that reducing fear, anxiety and stress in pets through the use of Fear Free techniques pays off with more patient visits and greater revenue.

“It’s very exciting to see hard evidence confirming what we know intuitively: What’s best for the pet and client is also great for the business,” said Fritz Wood, an industry consultant and Today’s Veterinary Business editorial board member. “Pets and pet owners are less stressed, and this leads to higher compliance with recommendations.”

The Fear Free program, founded by Marty Becker, DVM, teaches veterinary professionals, shelter personnel and other pet industry workers how fear, anxiety and stress can affect a pet’s physical and emotional health and how such issues can be alleviated or treated. Fear Free certifies veterinary practices, 20 of which took part in the study.

Working with the practices, the data and analytics company VetSuccess discovered that the hospitals, as a group, saw a 12% increase in overall revenue after implementing Fear Free techniques, a 6% rise in the number of patients and 5% growth in revenue per patient. They also attracted more feline patients.

“The Bayer Veterinary Care Usage Study proved that feline patients had fewer visits and received less veterinary care than canines,” said consultant Louise S. Dunn, who wrote the report. “The Fear Free data shows that when the veterinary team takes steps to reduce fear, anxiety and stress, more cats receive veterinary care. Finally, there is proof that there is a return on investment for the business.”

More than 60,000 veterinary and pet professionals have learned about Fear Free techniques since 2016.

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