Deluxe Happy Visits

 The Fear Free Vet movement is a blessing to animals everywhere, but what happens when your dog dislikes the vet so much, that no number of treats, pets, and soothing voices will help them to get near the medical staff? Rest assured that you’re not alone, and we at Compassionate Care Animal Hospital are here to help you.

why is my pet fearful?

For many reasons, anxiety is on the rise in companion animals.    At CCAH, we interact with patients who experience stress, anxiety, phobias, and other behaviors when coming to the vet.  This is not taboo, nor does it mean a pet is misbehaved.  An animal that is experiencing stress is undergoing a chemical change that can cause a wide range of demonstrated behaviors. 

Do you remember going to the doctor to get a shot as a child, with a guardian you trust and love?  The pinch of the needle wasn’t nearly as bad as scraping your knee, but every moment that passed, until the visit was over, was TERRIFYING.

Imagine if you felt this fear every time you went to the doctor and, rather than having a comforting professional explain the need and safety of the appointment (in a language you fortunately understand), they said something completely foreign, stood uncomfortably close to you, grabbed and squeezed you tightly, held you down despite your pleas, and proceeded with their tasks regardless of what you said you wanted.  

This is what a fearful pet experiences.


Consider a time when you needed to have a procedure done.  Perhaps you weren’t excited about it, and maybe you were even fearful - however, the doctor explained the process and helped you understand what would happen. This gave you reassurance that you would be safe and since you are in control of your own body, the procedure could be stopped any time you felt it needed to.

This is what we are doing for our fearful pets.

With Deluxe Happy Visits we work together to teach (or re-teach) your pet that they CAN consent to medical treatment, and what is more, they can tell us when to stop!  It is very important that our pet’s (like us) can tell us when they need a break, and when to continue.  This is what eradicates fear, grows trust, and thus confidence


When you decide, as the guardian of your pet, that they should be as comfortable and confident as possible during their appointments (previously fearful or not!), here is what you need to do:

  1. Fill out our Behavioral Questionnaire. Return it directly to us, email to, or fax it to 734-222-0823. Once received, it will be reviewed by your doctor and our behavior consultant.

  2. Schedule your first appointment. Call us to schedule your appointment, or schedule online.

  • Deluxe Happy Visits are held: Tuesdays, 6-9pm and Wednesdays, 6-10pm.

  • Each appointment lasts only 20 minutes.


Whether your pet is fearful or anxious when they are at the vet, or happy, speedy learners, they will be working with Cassie, our LVT and Behavioral Consultant.

Examples of things covered during a DHV include:

  • learning consent cues

  • being in proper restraining positions

  • practicing procedures such as blood draws, vaccine administration, and nail trimming

It’s important to us that your pet grow to be comfortable and enjoy the process, so the appointment length insures your dog won’t get bored or overwhelmed.

Some pets require only a few DHV packages before their view of the vet changes, while for others it is a permanent therapy they rely on to forever maintain a trusting relationship through all of their required medical procedures. Every pet is different, as are their emotional needs.

CCAH is here for you and your pet, no matter the behavior, goal, or road it takes to get there.  We pride ourselves in understanding the mental health and needs of our patients, and we want to ensure that they are always healthy and happy, as do you!


Click below to read about actual CCAH patients we have helped to overcome their fears of visiting the vet. If you feel your pet would benefit from this approach, please contact us to discuss details and arrange for a Deluxe Happy Visit.