Does a visit to the vet stress both you and your pet? We understand that! Stress and anxiety are common for some animals when visiting the vet, and we work hard to eliminate (or at least reduce) stressors during your pet’s visit.
What makes a vet visit Fear Free?
Our entire veterinary team is Fear Free trained, meaning they are professionally trained to create a calm and stress-free experience. From calm waiting rooms to quiet exam areas and a gentle, loving touch, we make it our mission to make your pet feel comfortable and relaxed.
The waiting game is over
You can expect to have a species-specific waiting area (no dogs invading your cat’s private space), be given the option of waiting in your car with your pet until you are texted or called to come in, or be taken right into the exam room.
No more sitting on slick, cold surfaces
Your pet will have a nonslip surface to stand on, such as a yoga mat or a warm, pheromone-infused towel.
Pheromone and aromatherapy diffusers emit calming substances into the air, and pet-friendly music works its calming effect on the central nervous system. (You might benefit, too.)
Eye contact is for you, not your pet
Fear Free trained veterinary team members will initially avoid eye contact with your pet and focus on you instead. This helps your pet feel less stressed because he’s not the center of attention and gives him time to check out his environment and become accustomed to the team member’s presence.
Bring your dog or cat in hungry because Fear Free trained veterinary team members will be handing out many small but delicious treats throughout the visit to welcome your pet, distract him from procedures, and reward him for cooperation.
Does the vet stress your pet?
If you already know your pet doesn’t enjoy a trip to the vet, has anxiety, or is aggressive, let us know ahead of time! Be sure to fill out our Fear Free visit form (Click Here) and send it to our office. We will make sure to allow extra time for your four-legged family member, and we will give you some pre-visit tips and tricks you can use at home to help prepare your pet.
Preparing for the visit
Hungry is good
If medically appropriate, reduce the amount of food your pet eats before a veterinary visit. This can help prevent nausea with car travel as well as make the treats at the veterinary visit more appealing.
Bring 50 to 100 of your pet’s favorite treats but in tiny amounts. Cut them up if necessary. Your pet likes a variety of treats? Bring an assortment! Even your cat’s canned food might do the trick. Treats should be no larger than half a pea or a single lick. You might not use all of them, but it is better to have too many than not enough.
Favorite toys and a grooming brush
Bring some familiar items your pet likes. This will help your pet relax in the veterinary hospital. The veterinary team may ask you to use these items to help distract your pet during the visit.
Towel, shirt, blanket, or bed sprayed with species-specific calming pheromones or lavender
Commercially available calming pheromones can help promote relaxation. The scent of lavender has been shown to have a calming effect on dogs during car travel. An item that smells like home, such as a blanket your pet sleeps on or a T-shirt you’ve worn, can also provide comfort for your pet. For dogs, consider spraying a bandana with a calming pheromone and placing it on your dog’s neck. When you use pheromone sprays, allow the pheromone to dry for 10 to 15 minutes before exposing your pet to the sprayed item.
Provide your pet with an opportunity to relieve himself prior to leaving your home and again before you go into the clinic
Nothing escalates stress more than having a full bladder or colon and no access to a bathroom.
Budget plenty of time to avoid being rushed
If you are stressed, your pet will be too.