We are a Fear Free animal hospital!
We're on a mission to make your pet love their vet! We have joined the Fear Free movement to take the "Pet out of Petrified" when it comes to bringing your furry family member to the vet. “Great veterinary care includes making sure pets feel safe and calm at our hospital. We all love animals and your pet’s happiness is very important to us,” says Dr. Stephen Wilson, CAH owner.
Get to the Vet the Fear Free Way
Getting your cat to the vet Fear Free
A checklist for our feline friends:
And one for our canine friends:
- Give them a little less food on the day of your vet visit to make them more motivated by treats. We have lots of treats here but you can also bring their favorite treats with you!
- Reward your pooch with praise and treats for good behavior when you arrive at the hospital to create a positive association with the hospital!
- Spray pheromones such as Adaptil on a bandanna loosely tied around you dog’s neck or on a blanket.
- Place your carrier on the floor behind passenger seat or use a harness to secure your dog in the car.
- Drive carefully, avoiding sudden starts and stops
- If your dog is very nervous in the waiting room, simply call to check in from the parking lot. - we'll get you when we’re ready for you.
- Come in for a non-medical visit! Bring your pup in for a stroll around our yard or into the waiting room. One of us can come us to give your dog a pat and a treat and then send you both on your way. A few positive experiences at our hospital can make a frightened dog less afraid the next time they need to come for an exam or treatment.
5 key changes we've made to improve your pet's visit
- Working with the expert…you! You know your pet better than anyone! We’ll be talking to you about how your pet feels and behaves before and during vet visits. We’ll discuss strategies for how to eliminate things that might make them nervous, like being around other pets or getting vaccines.
- Using pheromones and other calming tools: We’re using species specific pheromones to help pets feel calm.
- For cats: while you’re in the waiting room we’ll place a towel sprayed with Feliway over their carriers. The pheromone calms them while the towel allows them to hide and feel safe. Kitty spa treatment!
- For dogs: dogs who are dropped off for procedures get a towel sprayed with Adaptil in their crate to help them feel calm. We also recommend that dogs in for the day bring in a t-shirt or blanket that smells of home. Very nervous dogs in for a check up will get a neckerchief sprayed with Adaptil.
- Note: dog pheromones don’t impact cats and cat pheromones don’t impact dogs. Neither impacts humans, but we aren’t licensed to give you a glass of wine to help you relax!
- Transporting with compassion - don’t force anyone anywhere!
- Cats: We’re ditching the handle on the cat carrier! Like your appendix, it’s a vestigial organ that is no longer needed. Cats don’t like the swinging motion, so we carry the carrier like a heavy package instead. We never force cats from their crates! We leave the door open and use treats to tempt them out. If that doesn’t work, we take the lid off of the crate and let them stay in their safe place.
- Dogs: To move your dog to another location in the hospital, we coax or jog alongside them to get them to move around the hospital – we don’t push or pull.
- Tricking out the exam room: We have non-slip mats for the exam tables and floors so pets feel secure. We have toys and a variety of treats to distract your pet as we examine, vaccinate and perform other procedures – they often don’t notice what we’re doing!
- Examine pets where they’re the most comfortable: Cat happy in the carrier, on a scale or even in the sink? Puppy likes being on your lap? Big dog happiest down on the floor? Then that’s where you’ll be examined my friend! As long as we’re able to safely perform examinations or procedures there, we’re more than happy to adjust the location to a spot where your animal feels most comfortable.
Hodge likes to get his fluids on the scale while Tuli prefers to be examined in her crate
As always, please call us with questions about ways to reduce your pet’s anxiety about visiting the vet. If your pet is extremely anxious or even terrified, you and your vet might also consider options such as medication to reduce stress on subsequent visits.