Reduced-Fear Vet Visits in Harrisonburg, VA
A Comprehensive Approach to Ensure Your Pet’s Peace of Mind
A pet's fear and anxiety can have significant effects on their health and overall well-being while making it difficult to bring them to a veterinarian for necessary care. At Heartland Veterinary Clinic, we have launched a reduced-fear initiative to minimize the stress and fear your pets feel when visiting the vet. This initiative has resulted in some changes to our clinic, as noted below. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with our fear prevention tips before your pet’s appointment!
New to Heartland Veterinary Clinic? Make sure to fill out a New Client Form before your first appointment.
En Espanol: Registro de cliente
En Espanol: Registro de nuevo paciente
Call (540) 208-5415 to learn more about our reduced-fear initiative. We accept clients from throughout Rockingham County and the surrounding areas.
A fear-free vet visit starts at home. By taking certain stress-prevention steps before you bring your cat into our office, you can reduce their anxiety and help the appointment proceed smoothly.
We recommend that you:
- Use your cat's carrier as a daily part of their routine
- Practice trips for dogs or cats to acclimate to the car
- "Treat visits" to your vet, especially for dogs
- Use of appeasing pheromones or other supplements if needed for trips
- "Fasting" before a vet visit, then feeding during the visit
- Stress can be contagious to pets, do not be nervous "for" your pet
Changes to Our Clinic
As part of our reduced-fear initiative, we have taken steps to improve our patients’ experience within our facilities. This includes some physical changes to our clinic and some changes to our workflow/protocol.
- Created a separate waiting area, exam rooms, treatment room, and ward for cats and dogs
- Separated these spaces to minimize noise and prevent smells from spreading
- Changed the pattern of appointments to minimize stress before the exam
- Employing special handling techniques with patients who show signs of stress
- Introduced the use of appeasing pheromones and warm towels to minimize stress when needed
- Started taking rectal temperatures or fecal loop samples only when necessary
Changes for Clients When Visiting
In addition to physical and workflow changes, we have also implemented some changes that affect clients when visiting us for an appointment.
Please note that:
- After checking in at the main lobby, clients will go over to the "Cat Lobby" to await the technician (for cat-only visits)
- After the doctor and technician are done, a receptionist will come to the exam room for check-out and invoicing (for cat-only visits)
- For those pets it may help, clients can elect to wait in their cars after checking in
- If your dog is overly excited or nervous, we will have you wait in an exam room when possible
At Heartland Veterinary Clinic in Harrisonburg, we are committed to ensuring that your pet enjoys a fear-free visit every time.
“Dr. Brian was great.”- John A.
“Everybody there makes you feel like your pet is the most important one there.”- Tammy S.
“The staff at heartland is compassionate, takes time to make sure you have your questions answered, and has been flexible when we aren't comfortable with the first option.”- Tammy H.