Trips to the vet can be quite stressful for our animal friends. Not only do they have to leave their safe spaces at home, but they may also encounter other animals, which can make them nervous.

At Sheabel Veterinary Hospital, we’re committed to providing Fear-Free℠ office visits. We want your pets to feel comfortable when they visit us, so we take many steps to make sure they feel happy and relaxed as soon as they walk through our door.

To keep your pets’ visits Fear-Free℠, Sheabel Veterinary Hospital provides:

    • Snacks! Treats create positive associations with our clinic, our staff and our veterinarians.
    • Pheromones. Adaptil (for dogs) and Feliway (for cats) are pheromone products that are used to calm nerves. We use pheromone plug-ins in exam rooms and spray pheromones on our clothes, on pets’ kennels and on the towels we use during exams so pets feel more comfortable.
    • Separate areas for cats. We have a separate lobby and exam room specifically for cat patients. Cats are generally more stressed out when they have to interact with other pets they don’t know (especially dogs!), so we try to reduce these stressful interactions as much as we can.
  • Low-stress handling techniques. Whenever we handle your pet, we do it carefully so they feel safe and secure in our care.
  • Anti-anxiety medications. We only administer these when pets are extremely anxious to a degree that impedes our ability to perform the exam.
  • In-room checkouts. To keep your pet from having to wait in the busy, noisy lobby again, Sheabel’s veterinarians and veterinary staff will check you and your pet out in the exam room.

You can help before your pet’s appointment, too:

  • Don’t feed your pet for 12 hours before her appointment. Unless your pet has a medical condition that would make fasting dangerous, don’t give her food in the 12 hours before her appointment. This means she’ll be hungry when she visits us, and our treats will be more enticing!
  • Bring your cat in a carrier and your dog on a leash. Carriers give cats a sense of security, as it lets them hide. Your smaller dogs may even benefit from carriers for the same reason. And leashes give you a bit of control over your dog, keeping you, your dog and our entire veterinary clinic safe.
  • Create positive connections with your pets’ carriers and leashes. Cats shouldn’t only see their carriers right before they go to the vet. To help your pet get used to her carrier, leave it somewhere she can access it regularly. Place fluffy bedding, treats or toys in and around it. Dogs should already be used to wearing leashes before they visit. You’ll have an easier time managing your pets when they’re on leashes, plus, if you use leashes regularly, your dogs won’t associate them with the vet.

For more information on our Fear-Free℠ commitment, give Sheabel Veterinary Hospital a call at 859-309-8076.