What is Fear Free®?

Fear Free® techniques aim to reduce Fear, Anxiety and Stress (FAS) for your pets during their physiotherapy sessions. We want your pet to be happy and comfortable from the moment they walk through the door until it’s time to leave!

We love treats! We use lots of treats and positive reinforcement techniques throughout sessions to ensure that pets have a great experience and enjoy their time at Four Paws Fitness. We do not use excessive restraint techniques; instead we work using cooperative care techniques, allowing your pet the freedom and choice to be treated how they are most comfortable.

We are more than happy to see pets that may have a bite history, have previously shown fear, anxiety or stress in veterinary environments or can be touch averse in some situations. We will work with you and your pet to work out the best treatment options while reducing FAS.

We know that veterinary visits can be frightening for pets, and that sometimes they just need a little extra time to adjust and feel comfortable. We take things slowly and build up at your pet’s pace.

Before your initial physiotherapy assessment, we will send a Pre-Visit Questionnaire that will allow us to prepare for your pet’s arrival, and reduce potential FAS risks as much as possible, so we can all start on the most positive track.

We also offer Victory Visits, which allow your pet to meet us and explore their environment with plenty of treats and no treatments, so that they have a positive experience prior to starting treatment. Victory Visits are free of charge.

Ellis is a Level 3 Fear Free® Certified Veterinary Professional, working towards Elite Certification. For more information on how Fear Free® could benefit your pet’s rehabilitation, please contact us at info@fourpawsfitness.co.uk.

When I needed to find a physiotherapist for Albert my thoughts were filled with dread. 

Albert is very reactive to dogs and people.  He also finds new situations incredibly stressful and has fears of all sorts of things from plastic bottles to certain floor surfaces. 

When Albert met Ellis he was given the time and space needed to build up the perfect relationship, one built on trust and understanding. Ellis using a fear free approach gave Albert the trust needed to allow their relationship to flourish. 

I thought we’d need a few sessions for Albert to allow Ellis to do anything but on the 2nd session Albert was able to have his first treatment.  Since then, with their relationship built on trust he is able to have hands on treatment and even gives Ellis eye contact.  There isn’t one thing that Ellis hasn’t managed to do with Albert from the treadmill, massage, exercises and laser therapy.  All of these have been done using the fear free approach.  This has allowed Albert to remain confident that there is nothing to worry about when he’s with Ellis. 

Everyone who knows Albert is amazed he has managed all his new experiences with Ellis.  There are only a few people in his life who get to look into his eyes and they have his entire trust”

Albert’s Mum, December 2021