Fear Free Philosophies in Charleston, SC

Dog And Cat Information West Ashley Vet Charleston Sc

At West Ashley Veterinary Clinic, we require our staff to be Fear Free Certified and work with you to ensure your pet's vet visits are always happy, low-stress experiences. Our goal in being Fear Free is to give your companion the best care not only for their physical health, but their mental health, as well.

With low-stress handling and other calming techniques, we can alleviate life-limiting fear and anxiety in our patients and enhance their well-being in every aspect. See below to learn more about our Fear Free methods and the difference it can make in your pet's life.

We invite you to call us at (843) 571-7095 if you ever have questions about this information.

Dog Care Information

Dog Care Information

Dogs are wonderful companions who can benefit from special handling while visiting our animal hospital. We provide worried dogs with calming pheromones, tasty peanut butter and cheese treats, floor exams, and table mats to help keep them calm. We also suggest comfort packs for those who are extremely nervous. These comfort pack medications are very safe and can make a big difference in the quality of the visit. We often recommend them for storm or firework phobia, travel, or other anxiety disorders.

There are several things you can do to help your canine companion before a veterinary visit:

  • Attend puppy classes when your dog is young with a certified trainer using positive reinforcement practices

  • Come by frequently for “happy” puppy visits and let our staff spoil them

  • If they are able and it’s not too hot, take a long walk before you come (exercise has a calming effect)

  • Bring a toy your dog loves

  • Park on the side of our building, away from traffic

  • Keep your dog’s collar and leash secure

  • Accustom your dog to a mat or bed and bring it with you when you come

  • Bring a stool sample to the appointment

  • Have your dog wear a Thundershirt™

Low-Stress Cat Care in Charleston

Cats benefit from compassionate handling before and during their veterinary visit. At our clinic, cats can enjoy their own waiting room, exam room, treatment area, and hospital area.

Our cat examination rooms have cat-friendly beds and Feliway™ pheromone diffusers for a calming effect. Our technicians perform low-stress holds for blood draws and treatments, and we encourage the use of comfort packs for anxious feline patients. These medications are very safe for almost all cats.

Cat With Feliway Botle

Our Cat Care Techniques

Here at West Ashley Veterinary Clinic, our team members employ a variety of techniques to help calm cats during their appointments. These include:

  • Using treats as positive reinforcement

  • Keeping cat cages covered

  • Having Feliway™ pheromone diffusers in every exam room

  • Allowing cats to roam around in the exam room so they can become acclimated to their environment

  • Implementing gentle and minimal handling/restraint

  • The use of box houses for hospitalization

Please join us in making your cat’s visit to our animal hospital better and see our educational literature about things you can do, because a better feline veterinary visit starts at home!

Our Position Regarding Declawing

Gray Cat With Scratching Post

In 2016, our practice (following our sister practice) collectively decided to eliminate feline declaw surgery from our practice unless it is deemed medically necessary. This elective, painful amputation procedure has, in recent years, been scrutinized by many veterinary and animal health organizations. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and Humane Society have all taken the stance that elective declawing should not be performed.

The veterinarians and staff at West Ashley Veterinary Clinic feel a moral and ethical imperative to embrace this movement. If you would like more information about alternatives to declawing, please visit the following sites.

AAFP’s Declawing Position Statement

AAFP’s Alternatives to Declawing

Soft Paws Nails Caps

Fear Free Resources & Handouts

There are countless ways you can improve your pet's quality of life with the help of Fear Free techniques. Check out our handouts and other resources below for proven tips and insights, and visit Fear Free Happy Homes for even more information!

10 Things that Make Fear Free Veterinary Visits Different

Nail Trims: Trimming Away the Terror

Senior Dogs: Special Concerns & Solutions

How to Manage a Fear Free Return Home

Keep Calm and Muzzle On

How to Prepare Your Pet for a Veterinary Visit

Preventing Separation Anxiety

What to Do About Your Cat's Scratching