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Central Langley Pet Hospital

Fear Free for Dogs

Bringing Your Dog to Our Hospital – Taking the “Pet” out of Petrified

Small dog with dog harness sitting in a car

Preparations for the Trip

If your pet has shown anxiety or fearful behaviour when visiting our hospital, contact our office a few days prior to your scheduled visit, or inquire when scheduling if anxiety medication may be beneficial for your dog during their next visit.

  • Do not feed your dog a full meal before your appointment. If a dog fasts, they will be more apt to enjoy our treats, which can reduce stress.

  • If lab work is performed, a fasted sample is often preferred. If your dog has dietary issues or preferences, bring their favourite treats for use.

  • If we are collecting blood and urine for a wellness screening, best to avoid allowing your pet to urinate immediately before your appointment. Otherwise, encourage your pet to go prior to your appointment to ensure they are comfortable for travel and their veterinary visit.

Happy Dog Looking Out the Car Window

The Ride

  • Use a harness or head collar to secure your dog and a sturdy leash. When using a collar, make sure the pet cannot pull itself out of that collar or “slip” the lead.

  • A cover over the sides of the crate may also help reduce the stress of the ride. Be sure to use a seat belt to hold the crate in place.

  • Use Adaptil, a calming pheromone, in the car to help reduce travel anxiety. Ask our team about this.

  • Thunder shirts can also help some pets be calmer while in transit. Ask our team about these.

  • You can select some soft classical music that offers calming qualities, which can help drown out road noise.

Entering the Hospital

  • If your dog resists coming in our doors, don’t drag them. Use treats, toys, and verbal rewards to encourage them. Smaller pets can be carried in.

  • Entering through Petsmart may be associated with “fun” thoughts, but can “amp” some dogs up. Ask our team about what may work best for your pet.

  • If your pet experiences fear, anxiety, or stress or gets reactive seeing other pets, please inform a veterinary team member upon arrival to ensure no “traffic” is encountered.

  • We can use treats to help your dog settle, helping us get an accurate weight on our walk-on patient scale. Let us know if your pet has any food sensitivities.

  • If the visit is of a critical nature, we can administer anxiety medication upon arrival and wait for its full effect before proceeding.

  • If your pet has a favourite toy or blanket bring it along and let them play with that toy or lay down comfortably in the exam room. Familiarity can be soothing.


The Exam

The exam will be performed where your dog is most comfortable. This can be on the floor, the bench, or on the exam table. For added comfort for your dog, our rooms have non-slip mats that are not cold to the touch.

Repeated, negative experiences can cause undue stress and make the dog more upset for their next visit. We want these to be positive experiences for both you and your dog. When we have completed the exam, we will go over our findings with you. We also use that time to reward your dog with treats or a toy so they have lasting, great memories!