Fear Free Resources

Harbor Point Animal Hospital is committed to making sure your pet has the best experience possible before, during, and after his or her visit to our hospital.

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Fear Free Resources

Harbor Point Animal Hospital is committed to making sure your pet has the best experience possible before, during, and after his or her visit to our hospital. Our goal is to provide excellent medical care while ensuring a low-stress, enjoyable fear-free visit. We strive to make every visit as pleasant as possible to reduce any fear, stress, and anxiety that you or your pet may experience. We utilize our knowledge of pet body language and behavior and combine it with calming colors, appeasing pheromones, soothing music, highly palatable treats, and more to achieve the Fear Free environment!

The following list of downloadable resources is available to you to help you better understand the Fear Free philosophy and how you can work together with your veterinary team to achieve a Fear Free experience for your pet. Articles are in PDF format and may require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software to view. You can download Acrobat Reader here.

Additional Resources

Support Animals & Cancer Patients – The Benefits of Support Animals

Animals such as dogs, cats, and other mammals have been proven to be very beneficial to cancer patients while they are undergoing treatment. Support animals can have physical, mental, and emotional benefits for lung cancer patients. Types of support animals include emotional support animals and service animals.

Fear Free Cats and Dogs

Our Commitment to Comfort
Minimizing stress in the hospital

We know pets get anxious waiting around in the lobby. We offer call-ahead check-in to avoid wait times– we will escort you straight to the exam room. We also offer check-out services in the exam room to reduce the amount of time your pet spends in the lobby. Our exam rooms are tailored to delight all of your pet’s senses. We have comfortable pet beds in place on the floor to help make your pet feel right at home. When the nurse comes in the room, she will give your pet a treat to enjoy while he waits. You won’t notice the pheromone diffusers in the room, but your pet will! These act as natural calming agents. We play music specifically designed to reduce anxiety in pets. Most furry friends feel more comfortable in the exam room with their owners – we will do our best to perform all vaccines and blood work in the exam room to help reduce any anxiety your pet may feel.

How You Can Help
The dreaded car ride

Leave yourself plenty of time to get to the vet. Aim to leave the house 10 minutes earlier than you think you’d need to get there and prepare everything for your trip several hours in advance (the night before is great, if possible and practical). Not only will this help you minimize your own stress, but it’ll also help you drive safely and with minimal erratic stops and starts, which could otherwise contribute to your pet’s anxiety and car sickness.

Safely restrain your pet within the car for the trip to (and from) the vet’s office. This isn’t only a safety issue (for everybody), but it can also help your pet feel more secure and decrease the anxiety they may feel during car travel.

Spray Adaptil, a calming pheromone for pets, into your pet’s carrier and on the seat in your car

Please bring a stool sample to each wellness appointment. Your pet will thank you!

Plan to bring your pet to Harbor Point for happy visits – no needles, no temperatures – just treats and attention. This can help break the association of the vet’s office with stress. This works best if you start when your pup is very young! But it’s not too late if your pet is older!

Book one of the earlier morning appointment slots with your vet, this way, they’re less likely to be running behind, and your wait will likely be minimized. (If your wait is to be delayed, and as long as it isn’t too hot or cold outside, consider waiting in the car with your pet until your vet’s team can put you directly in an exam room).

For pets that get particularly stressed during trips to the vet, continue doing the above, but also talk to your veterinarian about possible pre-visit sedation options you can administer at home.

Fear Free Happy Homes

Fear Free Happy Homes

We ensure that your pet will be treated just as we would want our own to be treated. Our Fear Free pledge, facility, and course certifications provide us with the information and tools to do just that but, did you know that a Fear Free visit starts from home? It’s true, while we rely on our hospital and our staff’s certification to continue the process, a successful visit starts with you. Fear Free Happy Homes provides an incredible amount of resources where you can learn what we have. Anything from strange behavior quirks like your pup acting out while you are on the phone, exercise/enrichment, fears/anxieties, tips for rescuing a pet, preparing for a vet visit, and much much more! There is one thing that we know for certain, and it’s that fear makes everyone act in a different way, not just animals, people as well, but most of the time, it presents in some form of defense, from hiding to taking a stance and defending, to knee-jerk reactions that happen without being able to think about it. The best defense against this is to try and eliminate and/or change the way a fearful situation is perceived. While our staff is trained to help answer any questions you may have, we want to also provide the tools for you and your family to confidently continue you’re Fear Free education beyond.

Fear Free Form
The information on this form is important in allowing us to provide a comfortable reception, appointment, and departure for your pet in order to positively embed the next visits' expectations. A true Fear Free visit begins before it starts and educates on practices to continue at home.