Fear Free Dogs

At Startown Veterinary Hospital, we believe in fear-free veterinary visits and strive to minimize the stress involved for both you and your dog. Our team will work with you to make sure your pet feels comfortable throughout the entire experience. Read more to find out what you can do to minimize your pet’s stress level during the veterinary visit.

fear free dog

The lobby

We know that some dogs can get anxious waiting in the lobby, especially if there are other dogs close by. We provide bandanas infused with canine appeasing pheromone to help reduce fear, anxiety, and stress. We also offer call ahead check-in – wait in the car and we will escort you straight to the exam room.

The exam room

We will offer tasty treats in the exam room to help distract your pup and make the exam a positive experience. If your dog is a picky eater or has special dietary needs, please bring his favorite treats from home. Most pups 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 dog may feel. 

The car ride

Leave yourself plenty of time to get to the office. Aim to leave the house 10 minutes earlier than you think you’d need to get here 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 slowly, which can decrease your dog’s anxiety and car sickness.

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

Please bring a fresh fecal sample to each wellness appointment.

Your dog will thank you!

Additional Tips

Please do not correct your dog, pull on his leash, or fuss at him during the visit. Dogs forget even basic commands when they are experiencing fear, anxiety, and/or stress.

Bring your dog to Startown Veterinary Hospital for happy visits – no needles, no temperatures – just treats and love. 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 dog is older!

Consider waiting in the car with your dog until the team can put you directly in an exam room.

For dogs that get particularly stressed during trips to the vet, continue doing the above but also talk to one of our veterinarians about possible pre-visit sedation options you can administer at home before the visit.

How do we assess FAS (fear, anxiety, & stress) in dogs?

ff dogs


Our Regular Schedule

Startown Veterinary Hospital


7:30 am - 12:00 pm

1:30 pm - 5:00 pm


7:30 am - 12:00 pm

1:30 pm - 5:00 pm


7:30 am - 12:00 pm

1:30 pm - 5:00 pm


7:30 am - 12:00 pm

1:30 pm - 5:00 pm


7:30 am - 12:00 pm

1:30 pm - 5:00 pm






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