Stress & Fear Free Vet Care

We pride ourselves on being a Stress Free Clinic for you and your pets. We understand how a trip to the vet can be stressful for some pets, and our goal is to minimise this stress and help make them, and you, feel as comfortable as possible at visits. Our aim is to help make visiting the vet a positive experience! 

What is a Stress Free Clinic?

It is exactly what the name suggests! As a stress-free vet clinic, we focus on reducing pet anxiety during visits. 

How do you reduce pet anxiety?

We create a relaxed environment, employ gentle handling techniques, and positive reinforcement to ensure pets feel comfortable and at ease. Our team are trained to handle pets with compassion, aiming for a fear-free experience that fosters a positive and reassuring atmosphere.

We take the time your pet needs and focus on your pet’s body language to ensure a safe and calm visit for all. We take extra steps and preventative measures to minimise overwhelm and stress in your pet whilst at our clinic.

Why do you have Feliway and Adaptil throughout the practice?

Feliway (for cats) and Adaptil (for dogs) are pheromone-based products that mimic calming scents/hormones for cats and dogs. These pheromones help relax and calm your pet during their visit to our practice.

In reception, our team apply Feliway to blankets which are then placed over your cat’s carrier when you arrive in reception, through to the consult room. If your cat is staying with us for the day, this blanket follows them on their journey through the hospital. You can even leave with us their favourite blanket, bed or one of your jumpers to help them feel safe and calm with familiar smells.

For dogs, Adaptil is used in a very similar way for the same desired outcome, only we apply the spray to very cute bandanas for your dog to wear around their neck during their visit.

Throughout the clinic we use automatic pheromone diffusers to provide extra relaxation during your pet’s stay!

Feliway & Adaptil can be used at home, or even in your car prior to your pet’s journey to visit us, aiding in reducing stress from the get-go!

What are outdoor playground consults?

For some dogs it can be scary visiting an unfamiliar building over a walk outdoors. So we thought, why not consult outside instead! For some anxious pets they find visiting the vet easier when it feels just like a normal day at the park.

We are fortunate to have a large outdoor space available to examine your dog and we keep this area open so that you can visit more frequently, desensitising them to the space and familiarising them with the vet clinic. Our hope is that the begin to associate the practice as a fun place to visit, making trips to the vet less scary.

A playground consult gives your dog a sense of freedom where they are able to sniff around while the vet undergoes their consultation.

If you would like a playground consultation, you can either let us know at the time of creating your booking, or you can request this upon arrival!

So long as the playground is not being used by a patient in consultation, you are more than welcome to use this space any time! This can be a great opportunity for puppies who should not be going to dog parks quite yet whilst their training is still underway or for dogs who aren’t great with socialising but still need a safe space to play and bond with their human!


Do you offer private waiting areas?

We sure can! For some pets, personal space is a must! Not every animal likes to be around others and some may become frightened by over excited new friends despite how friendly they may be.

We accommodate every pet and every scenario including by organising private waiting rooms. You can organise a private waiting room upon booking or call us from your car before entering reception so our team can make the necessary arrangements before you enter with your pet.

This is a great technique to help reduce stress and anxiety in your pet but can also be helpful for you! If you have a hard to handle pet, a dog who is strong on lead, boisterous, or potentially reactive, a private waiting space can help reduce stress for you by giving your pet space to wait for their vet on their own terms!

How do you manage difficult or stressed pets?

The first step in managing a difficult or stressed pet is in understanding their background (that means getting history and information from you!) as well as in reading their body language (what are they actually telling us without verbally telling us!).

To be able to read an animal’s body language requires training and experience. Every animal displays emotion and behaviour differently, for example, did you know some dogs such as Dalmatians and Golden Retrievers, will bare their teeth and ‘smile’ at you? For these breeds, this behaviour which to the untrained eye may look like a snarl, can actually be very normal and mean they’re super happy!

A lot of working with animals involves understanding them. If a dog or cat began to growl or hiss, we would never tell them off or discourage them. We appreciate their warning and listen to them telling us they’re uncomfortable. This type of behaviour is helpful in avoiding incidences from occurring as well as enables us to think differently about what we need to do for your pet’s physical health and think about how we can align their needs with their mental well-being too.

In some cases medications may be the key to finding the right balance between medical treatment and mental well-being. Medication can be used short term or long term, just like for humans.

The use of anti-anxiety medication can be life changing for some animals and their families and is not something to be afraid of.

Natural alternatives can be trialled too with positive reinforcement and the use of treats welcomed. Other options include:

  • The use of natural calming treats and products such as Zylkene
  • Pheromone sprays and collars like those we talked of above
  • Familiar scents and objects including toys and blankets
  • Acupressure such as that applied by the use of a Thunder Shirt

Whatever the method, our team are here to help guide and support you and your pet on their veterinary journey, tailoring options to suit you.

We take great pride in ensuring every single one of our patients feel calm and at ease while visiting our clinic. We try our hardest to provide the utmost care. We encourage you to chat with us if you have an anxious pet, or if you’re feel anxious too – we get it!

We will do everything in our power to assist and accommodate you and your pet, to make your visit as pleasant as possible.

Search our site