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Fitchburg Veterinary Hospital

Fear Free

We care about not only your pet’s physical health but their emotional health as well. In order to care for their emotional health and well-being, we want to provide a low-stress veterinary visit for you and your pet. Animals live in the now. What this means for us, is that if they are stressed or fearful that is very real for them. They are not rationalizing it as it will be over soon, that is there now. Our job is to create an environment where their reality is low stress to achieve better care.

During your visit, you will notice that we are utilizing different types of treats and different handling techniques that help limit or lower stress. We might stop and give your pet breaks to relax during their exam as well as recommend medications to help reduce stress for your pet.

Fitchburg Vet Hospital - fear free

Stress Free Vet Visit

We care about not only your pet’s physical health as well as they emotional health. In order to accomplish this, we want to provide a low stress veterinary visit for you and your pet.

The best way we can provide the best care for your pet is with your help. The veterinary visit starts with you at home.
We ask that you follow the following tips to help your pet have a stress/fear free visit.

What is Fear Free?

Fear free is a shift in how we think and treat our pets. Instead of the old mindset of ” just get it done”, we are not only prioritizing your pet’s physical health but their emotional health and well-being. Most of our staff members are Fear Free Certified and are using the tools they have learned to create a happier and low-stress visit for your pet.

The best way we can provide the best care for your pet is with your help. The veterinary visit starts with you at home.

We ask that you follow the following tips to help your pet have a stress/fear free visit

The visit starts at home!


Bring your pet hungry!

This will help pets take treats during their visit and create a positive connection with their visit.


Bring out their carrier a few days before

Leave the carrier out and open. This will allow cats to explore and not become afraid of the carrier when it comes time to leave for the clinic.
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Bring their favorite treats!

Bring their favorite treats, whether it’s dog treats or cheese! The perfect treat should be a high value to your pet and not something they receive often. When making your appointment, let us know what types of treats your pet prefers.

Prepare the Car

Since the weather can vary in Wisconsin, its important to have the car temperature to be similar to the home. Whether that is warming or cooling the car. Sudden temperature changes can be stressful, especially for cats.

Play Calming Music

Think spa music! Music has a similar effect on animals that it does for us! During travel, play calming music quietly during the ride.



Stress and fear are very important to control for animals. If your pet becomes stressed during any part of the visit, where it is getting here and back, or during their visit. Please ask your veterinarian about anti-anxiety medications to help your pet during their visit.

Other helpful Tips!

  • Bring a familiar blanket or towel.
  • If your pet has a hard time with slipping or tile floors, bring a bathmat to help create a non-slip surface that they are used it
  • Bring toys or something that calms your pet. Pet brushes also work for some pets
  • Use calming pheromones
    Feliway for cats
  • Thunderease for dogs
  • Both come in different forms, sprays, collars, and room diffusers.
  • Feliway also comes in a wipe form to wipe the inside of the carrier

When you Arrive




When you arrive please let reception know if your pet has any food allergies, or any pet reactivity. If you would like to be placed in an exam room right way please let us know.
We ask that you keep your pet leashed and close to you. While your pet might be friendly, the other pet might be stressed or overwhelmed. If your pet would feel more comfortable walking outside, please let reception know that you will wait outside.

In the lobby we offer free bandanas and Thunderease spray to act as a calming pheromones collar to help calm them during their appointment. Please use 8 sprays on the bandana and let it sit for 30 seconds before putting it on your pet.

We have treats in our lobby area, if there are any that your pet loves, please let us know. We also have other treats in back like whipped cream, spray cheese and peanut butter that we can utilize during their visit as well.



Pretend your carrier does not have a handle!
Hold their carrier like you are carrying fragile glass! When you hold the carrier by the handle, the cat gets swung around, no matter hard we try not to. Holding the carrier also help them not be at eye level of dogs and other animals.

When checking in, head to the designated cat waiting area. This area has visual blocks of other pets that can be scary. There is also tables to place their carriers so they can feel safe.

You will notice towels in that area as well. We ask that you spray a towel with Feliway and place it over the carrier. Feliway is a calming pheromone for cats and the towel acts as a visual barrier to reduce stress cause by other animals.

Additional Information


fear free