We understand how stressful it can be for a pet to come visit us and that’s why we want to share the importance of creating a stress-free vet visit for your pet. It starts before you leave your home and continues through your entire visit in our office. Understanding that our after-hours hospital is a little different than traditional veterinary offices, we’re still here to take care of your pet in a stress and anxiety-free environment. The Russell Lake Animal Hospital will do our best to keep it stress-free from the moment they arrive to see us.

Russell Lake Animal Hospital is Certified (Silver) in Low-Stress Restraint and Handling. Fear of the vet and veterinary clinic does not go away on its own. Without actively changing the pet’s feelings towards the visits, this fear will get worse and potentially turn into negative behaviours. It will make our work, providing care, difficult and make bringing your pet in for an annual visit more stressful.

Before You Leave The House

For some dogs, seeing the crate, carrier, or even getting the leash on and heading towards the car is a sign that a trip to the veterinarian is imminent. If your dog does exhibit signs of stress or anxiety, there are some medications and supplements with a calming effect that can help your pet deal with stress and make vet visits a little more relaxing. If you’re unsure of what constitutes as a sign of stress, look for these things: no willingness to walk, growling, licking lips frequently, and refusal to get close to humans.

Recognizing the signs of stress and anxiety in your pet will help you prepare to calm them down before they get to the veterinarian where the stress can grow considerably by the presence of other pets and humans.

Once You Have Arrived At Our Hospital

We promise to do our best to keep your pet feeling stress-free and relaxed. If the presence of other animals in the waiting room causes additional stress, we may work to get them into a room where they can wait for our staff and relax. It may be good to bring a toy or treats that are familiar to your pet and that will also keep them calm. Be sure to pet and scratch your dog, reassuring them that everything is okay.

Inside The Examination Room

If you have noticed signs of stress, be sure to notify the staff so that they can take extra precautions to keep your pet feeling calm. This will help them determine how and where to do the examination and how to approach your pet. For instance, some pets are fine being examined on a table or desk and others prefer to be on the floor. Treats can also help calm your dog down and open up to our staff before an examination. If your pet does not accept a treat, we’ll know that stress levels are high.


We’re here to provide a stress-free environment while taking care of your pet. We want to make all visits as calm and relaxing as possible. We’re happy to work with you on accomplishing a successful visit to our office.

You can learn more about creating a stress-free vet visit by clicking here.