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Bowmanville Veterinary Clinic

Fear Free

We appreciate that you want to provide the best quality healthcare for your pet. We want to thank you for entrusting our hospital to help you achieve this in the most caring and compassionate manner


During your visit, you are going to notice some significant efforts being undertaken to make your pet’s visit as enjoyable as possible. To start, for cats and small dogs that travel in carriers, we would ask that you consider the following tips to make your pet’s travel to our hospital a pleasant and Fear Free experience:

  • Place padding in the carrier. Nicely folded towels or pet beds are suitable. 

  • Bring the carrier up 2-3 days before the appointment, and place it in an area of the house that is frequented by your pet. Leave the door of the carrier open, allowing your pet to explore and get comfortable with the carrier.

  • Spend some time playing with your pet around the carrier. Put some treats or food nearby or inside the carrier to encourage a positive experience while re-acquainting with the carrier.

  • Periodically, spray the carrier with a pet specific pheromone. These pheromones are odours that people can’t smell, but that are clinically proven to be calming for pets. For dogs, use Adaptil. For cats, use Feliway. These are available in advance at our hospital should you wish to purchase these products.

  • Apply 1 pheromone treatment to the inside of the carrier or bedding 15-20 minutes prior to departure. During transport, cover the top of the carrier with a towel leaving 1 or 2 sides open should your pet wish to look outward.

  • Carry your carrier to the car supporting its base for smooth transport. Using a handle or carrying strap often causes the carrier to swing – that’s a rough ride for your pet inside!

  • Consider the angle of your car seat and the appropriateness of propping up one side of the carrier to keep the carrier level.

And, for pets of all sizes:

  • Where medically appropriate, do not allow your pet access to food for 10-12 hours prior to travel. This reduces car sickness, and makes treats upon arrival that much more enjoyable!

  • Ensure adequate gentle airflow to keep your pet’s environment in the car at a comfortable temperature.

Upon arrival at our hospital, we will make every effort possible to see you on time, and in a calm, welcoming environment for you and your pet.

If you feel that your pet may need additional assistance in the form of either natural calming medications or traditional calming medications for the purpose of travel, please contact us in advance.

What counts most is your pet’s comfort and well being.

There are other strategies that exist to make your pet’s travel a more positive experience. We are happy to discuss these with you should you need further assistance.