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Taking the “Pet” Out of “Petrified”

With a mission to prevent and alleviate fear, anxiety, and stress in pets by inspiring and educating the people who care for them, Fear Free® provides online education for veterinary professionals, pet professionals, animal welfare communities, and pet owners. At IBPSA, our educational committee was proud to review and approve Fear Free’s curriculum for pet boarding and daycare facilities to ensure that it equips facilities with the information they need to maximize the wellbeing of their staff and the pets in their care. Read on to learn more about this exciting initiative.

What is Fear Free? 

Given the abundance of false (and harmful!) pet information found on the internet, Fear Free was launched in 2016 by Dr. Marty Becker, affectionately known as “America’s Veterinarian.” With an illustrious career that included 17 years as the resident veterinary contributor on “Good Morning America”—as well as serving as Chief Veterinary Correspondent for American Humane, a founding member of Core Team Oz for “The Dr. Oz Show,” and a member of the Dr. Oz Medical Advisory Panel—Dr. Becker has spent his life working toward better health for pets and the people who love them.

Since its founding, Fear Free has evolved into one of the most transformative initiatives in the history of companion animal practice. The initiative provides expert-driven education on emotional wellbeing, enrichment, and the reduction of fear, anxiety, and stress in pets and how to improve the experience of every human and pet involved.

Fear Free education offerings 

Offering courses that have been developed and written by highly respected veterinary and pet experts, Fear Free serves the following groups:

  • Veterinary professionals. Fear Free’s programs and courses for veterinary professionals were developed with an understanding that veterinary medicine is an emotionally demanding field—and the stress and anxiety that care providers experience can affect their patients and practices. Courses are designed to restore trust in veterinarians as the true pet health experts, while helping to reduce feelings of stress and ensure a better experience for all involved. Fear Free offers individual certification programs, practice certifications for teams, and other educational options, including a course created in collaboration with the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior.
  • Other pet professionals. After its Veterinary Certification Programs were met with widespread praise and success, Fear Free began developing courses and certification programs for trainers, groomers, pet sitters, and boarding/daycare professionals. The company’s goal is to continue adding programs for professionals who touch every part of a pet’s life.
  • With approximately 13,000 sheltering organizations caring for an estimated 6-7 million homeless animals annually, Fear Free recognized the need to have mechanisms in place to alleviate the severe stress that many shelter animals experience. To help provide a solution, the company created the Fear Free Shelter Program, which educates shelter and rescue employees and volunteers about the emotional needs of the animals in their care.
  • Pet owners. Fear Free offers a wealth of complimentary resources, including expert-reviewed tips and tricks, to help pet owners provide their pets with the happiest and healthiest lives possible.

To learn more about Fear Free’s mission and course offerings, visit