Gladwyne Animal Hospital is the first hospital on the Main Line
to adopt a Fear Free Hospital mission.


Fear Free is a movement in the veterinary field that prioritizes the emotional welfare of veterinary patients, pet owners, and the veterinary healthcare team.
Fear Free certified veterinary teams are trained to recognize Fear, Anxiety, and Stress (FAS) in patients to avoid uncomfortable experiences for pets and their owner, aspire to positive veterinary visits and provide higher quality veterinary medicine.

Two concepts that are very important for avoiding FAS and practicing Fear Free medicine are:
1. Considerate Approach – is the respectful and positive interaction between the pet, pet owner and veterinary team while providing veterinary care

2. Gentle control – is the care that the veterinary team safely and comfortably provides while working with your pet.

In addition to this more conscientious approach, understanding how cats and dogs communicate FAS and striving for good communication between pet owners and the veterinary team are essential for a Fear Free experience. Please see our Fear Free Handouts to better recognize signs of FAS in our pets.

We can work together to improve veterinary visit success by discussing any concerns that you may have about your pet’s behavior, better tailoring physical examinations to your individual pet and upholding Fear Free Concepts.

Thank you for entrusting us with the care of your beloved pet.


Recognizing Fear, Anxiety, and Stress (FAS) in our Pets.

Please see the images below of FAS in our pets. Knowledge of body language and behavior is very important in recognizing and then avoiding FAS in our veterinary patients.

Avoiding FAS at Gladwyne Animal Hospital

Fear Free medicine begins well before you arrive at the Veterinary Hospital with your pet. Please see our Gladwyne Animal Hospital tips below to ensure that the home preparation, transport, veterinary appointment and return home are as comfortable for you and your pet as possible.

Prepare yourself and your pet for the transport process to the veterinary hospital
⦁ Properly transport your pet
⦁ Bring your pet to the hospital hungry and use delicious treats to reward and distract them
⦁ Wait in a comfortable place
⦁ Perform the physical examination in a way that the pet is most comfortable
⦁ Use soft lighting
⦁ Use quiet voices
⦁ Use phermones
⦁ Use calming music
⦁ Approach slowly and gently
⦁ Use consistent and gentle touch gradient
⦁ Consider possible pre-visit pharmaceuticals to help reduce FAS if needed
⦁ When appropriate, sedating pets using safe and effective drugs may be recommended in order to reduce stress and fear in the patient and improve safety and physical examination quality. It is important to recognize the need for sedation early before FAS escalates
⦁ Use pressure wraps like the ThundershirtR
⦁ Closely monitor your pet for FAS when you return home and provide them with privacy from other pets as they acclimate
⦁ Desensitize your pet to the veterinary hospital by bringing your pet to the hospital to just say hello, check their a weight or just get a treat