Fear-Free and Stress-Free Veterinary Hospital
Pet-friendly Veterinary Clinic for Mississauga Dogs and Cats
Clarkson Village Animal Hospital is completely dedicated to fear-free, stress-free, and force-free visits for your pets.
Going to the vet is an anxiety-inducing experience for most dogs and cats. Consider that they don’t understand why they are being taken to a strange place, with strangers touching them. They are just nervous and afraid.
We want to help alleviate those fears.
We believe pets should be made comfortable and techniques should be used to help them relax during vet visits – especially for pets who must stay overnight for treatment. While we understand that a trip to the vet is stressful for pets, it is our responsibility to minimize the anxiety and fear these visits cause. Your pet’s emotional wellbeing is just as important to us as their physical wellbeing.
Creating a Stress-Free Environment
- Speaking softly and calmly around pets.
No matter what, staff at our clinic are trained to speak softly and calmly around all patients. Animals can sense anxiety or tension in human voices and body language, and will respond to it. The calmer the humans are, the calmer the pets will be.
- Gentle handling.
We handle all pets gently to minimize nervous behaviour. We practice force-free visits to avoid placing more stress on already-anxious animals.
Beginning the Appointment at Home
Our front desk team will send you a reminder before your appointment with a list of ways to make your dog or cat’s visit a more pleasant experience, such as:
- Hunger is your friend!
It’s ideal if your pet is hungry before the vet. If it’s medically appropriate, we suggest withholding food for a few hours before your appointment so your pet is highly food-motivated (and we can make them happy and relaxed with treats!).
- Make the carrier fun!
Create positive associations with the carrier; use it as a regular place to feed treats and deliver toys. You can also spray it with pheromones such as Feliway or Adaptil. Click here for our tip sheet about transporting nervous cats.
- Use anxiety-reducing products.
Bring calming items, such as Thunder Shirts, to the appointment if you have them.
If your pet usually needs anti-anxiety treatments, make sure to administer them 2 to 3 hours before arrival.
We also work to acclimatize nervous patients. If we sense that a pet is anxious during an appointment, we will encourage you to bring the pet to the hospital between appointments to play and eat a few treats to create a positive association.
Minimizing Stress Instead of Maximizing Restraint
There is absolutely no doubt that the less restraint, the better. Here are some of our top ways to minimize environmental stress at the hospital:
- Lots of food treats during the appointment.
- Pheromone diffusers throughout the hospital (Feliway and Adaptil).
- Plastic E collars or air muzzles for cats and small brachycephalic dogs (resembles a diver’s helmet with an opening in the front so your pet’s head is safely enclosed but they can still see out).
- Early use of anti-anxiety medication for pets who need it.
Using Effective Calming Products
We research and use the safest and best calming products for pets.
- Thunder Shirts: Drug-free, all natural “anxiety shirt” for pets.
- Synthetic calming pheromone products: Feliway for cats and Adaptil for dogs.
Administering Anti-Anxiety Medications
For pets who don’t respond to the above techniques, we recommend anti-anxiety supplements and drugs, which reduce the patient’s stress levels without making them less alert.
- Trazadone + Gabapentin for dogs.
- Zylkene + Gabapentin for cats.
Pet Friendly, Fear-Free Veterinary Hospitals
Your pet’s experience at our veterinary hospital is as important as the medicine provided. At Clarkson Village Animal Hospital, we provide a kinder, gentler veterinary visit for all pets.