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 Stress & Fear Free 

What is the benefit of Low Stress Handling™ for my pet?

  • Staff will recognise any stress early and take steps to reduce that fear through rewards, alternative handling techniques based on understanding the approach, and positioning that reduces stress or pain.

  • Rewards such as treats, petting, or a happy voice are used according to what helps your pet be less upset.

  • Pain relief is used early and careful consideration for use of table pads, towels, and special holds that decrease struggling.


Changes you don’t see that matter:

  • Lower lighting

  • Separation of dogs and cats in treatment areas

  • Comfortable cages

  • Use of pheromones and other aids to reduce stress

Can I use Low Stress Handling™ at home?

Yes! Certified staff can demonstrate to you ways to give medications in a Low Stress way and give you a plan for your pet’s home care. Understanding how fear builds on the car ride or in the waiting area can help you take charge of decreasing those stressors by alerting the veterinary staff to what your pet does not like, stopping in for “happy visits” and using rewards yourself during travel or in care. Bringing your pet hungry for the rewards during care goes a long way to help your pet make that connection that handling can be low stress.


Pheromones are compounds that are naturally secreted by animals so that they can communicate with members of the same species. During lactation for example, female dogs secrete a pheromone that reassures their pups when they are close to them. Similarly, cats secrete facial pheromones which they deposit in known places in order to mark a familiar territory. Luckily we are now able to create synthetic analogues of some of these natural pheromones.

Feliway® for cats: Used in stressful situations (moving house, transport, presence of other animals, etc.) Feliway® gives the cat its "bearings" and thus prevents the stress which can generate disturbing behaviour (urine-marking, scratching, aggressiveness). The use of Feliway® spray or the Feliway® diffuser will artificially reproduce the facial marking that is natural to cats.

Feliscratch for cats: Feliscratch® is clinically proven to stop and prevent both vertical and horizontal destructive scratching in the home.  It does this by redirecting the cat to scratch his or her scratching post—not the couches and curtains. 

Adaptil® for dogs: Adaptil® is the synthetic equivalent of the pheromone secreted by bitches to reassure their pups on contact. Adaptil® helps dogs handle stressful situations better (separation, weaning, transport, fear of noise, firework displays, etc.) and enables them to adapt to new situations. It is therefore indispensable during the socialisation period of puppies'. Adaptil® is available as a diffuser or spray.

Dotty - Hills District Vet
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