Mon/Thurs 8-8, Tues/Wed/Fri 8-6, Sat/Sun CLOSED

Fear Free Certified Practice

Everyone at CCAH is a Fear Free Certified Professional and we are a Fear Free Certified Practice. We prioritize your pet’s emotional well-being to reduce fear, anxiety, and stress during their visit.


What is a Fear Free Veterinary Visit?

Fear Free Certification is our commitment to caring for your pet’s emotional wellbeing. Our goal is to reduce anxiety about vet visits for your pet (and therefore you!). This is accomplished in many ways and each veterinary visit is planned according to the pet’s FAS (Fear, Anxiety, Stress) and the scheduled procedure. Preparation for a Fear Free visit starts at home with you, the pet parent. Learn more about creating a Fear Free Happy Home at fearfreehappyhomes.com.

Realistically, Fear Free doesn’t mean that your pet will never experience discomfort at our hospital as s/he may be injured or ill, but it does mean that we will make every effort to reduce fear, anxiety, and stress related to the visit. We also maintain an EMR (emotional medical record) for each visit to track what techniques are successful with your pet.

10 Things to Know about a Fear Free Veterinary Visit 

No Lobby

Lobbies can be stressful for pets and humans. Please use the curbside check-in when you arrive. We will call, take a brief history, and then assign an exam room. We may also allow your pet to relax for 10-15 minutes once in the clinic to adjust to the new environment.

Comfy Surface

No more sitting on slick, cold surfaces. Your pet will have a nonslip surface to stand on such as a yoga mat or a warm, pheromone-infused towel.

Relaxing Aromas

Pheromone diffusers emit calming substances into the air while pet-friendly music works its calming effect on the central nervous system. (Some clients benefit from this too!)

No Eye Contact

We'll initially avoid eye contact with your pet if s/he's fearful. This helps reduce stress while your pet adjusts to our presence.


Please do NOT feed your pet before a visit. We rely on hungry pets to eagerly take our treats during exams and procedures, and as a reward for a job well done. If your pet has food allergies, please bring treats from home. Toys can also be a great distraction if your pet is not food motivated.

Family Present

When the procedure allows and it benefits the pet, we do our best to perform exams and procedures with a family member present. In some cases, this increases the pet’s FAS. We will discuss these options with you.


If needed, we'll prescribe anti-anxiety or other calming medications or supplements to help make the car ride and visit less stressful for your pet. Sedation will also be discussed as needed.

Longer Visit

Your appointment may be longer (up to 60 min) to allow your pet to relax, give us time to minimize fear and stress during the exam, and discuss your pet’s medical condition, diagnostics, and treatments (additional fee for longer visits).


Although not common, in some cases, we may need to reschedule your appointment in order to accommodate your pet's higher levels of anxiety.

Always Improving

Our veterinary team members will note your pet’s emotional response to each visit and what techniques worked best to reduce any fear, anxiety, and stress that may have been expressed. This will help to make future visits even better.

Understanding Your Pet’s FAS Fear, Anxiety, and Stress

We use the term FAS (Fear, Anxiety, Stress) to help us label a pet's emotional response to their experience. FAS allows us to use neutral, non-judgemental terms that are objective.

We know many animals with extreme FAS do not receive needed medical care. We are committed to working with these pets and their parents to have successful vet visits and receive the much needed medical care they would otherwise go without. The most important aspect to a Fear Free visit is patience and NO judgement.

To learn where your pet is on the FAS scale, please download our FAS Assessment PDF.

You can also learn more about FAS at the official Fear Free Pets website.

FAQ about High FAS Visits

How do I get started?

First, download our FAS Assessment PDF to determine where your pet is on the FAS scale. Then, contact our offices at 734-436-0455 to set up a phone consultation or virtual telemedicine visit when we'll create a plan and book your first appointment.

It's very important to watch your email inbox for communications. After your appointment is booked, you'll need to fill out and submit forms emailed to you within 48 hours so we can adequately prepare for your pet's High FAS visit.