6545 Cooley Lake Rd Waterford, MI 48327 phone: (248) 363-1508 fax: (248) 363–5630 info@unionlakepets.com Open 7 days a week.

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Your Pet’s Fear of the Vet:
Why ULVH is Working to be a Stress-Free, Fear-Free Practice

Fear Free

A Big Deal

Our awareness of your pet’s fear – and our specialized response to him or her – guide how we continue to work on providing a stress-free, fear-free practice.

Do you have a pet that stresses out about a wellness exam or Vet visit? We’ve seen animals that urinate, defecate, tremble or whine in fear. Adrenaline and the instinctual fight or flight impulse release hormones that impact virtually every system in your pet’s body. Those sensory memories are powerful enough to trigger fear reactions each time a similar circumstance occurs. A visit to the vet, for example, can be a harrowing experience for a pet – but it doesn’t have to be that way.

At Union Lake Veterinary Hospital, we see that your pet’s fear is very real, so it is our goal to be a stress-free, fear-free practice. How do we establish – or re-frame – your pet’s experience at the vet?


Making Waves

We believe that the minute your pet’s paws hit our welcome mat, a calm and welcoming tone is integral to your pet’s vet experience.

As a result, we:

  • Play pet-approved music that aims to relax and calm a worried pet. Studies have shown that certain types of music reduce barking and calm stressed pets.
  • Offer a variety of toys and treats that stimulate your pet’s senses and create a lasting and positive association
  • Employ the use of the fabulously effective feline hormone spray Feliway and canine hormone spray Adaptil that reduces stress

Recognizing Your Pet’s Fear

A critical part of our job involves closely observing and assessing your pet’s behavior during a visit. We are trained to notice even the most subtle signs of discomfort or stress, and watch for these signs that your pet is experiencing fear:

  • Panting
  • Hiding
  • Licking the lips repeatedly
  • Increased vigilance to stimuli
  • Decreased eye contact
  • Lowered head, ears, and eyes
  • Noticeable whites of the eye in a dog
  • Tail tucked
  • Yawning
  • Soiling
  • Furrowed brow
  • Anxiety-related pacing or salivating
  • Dilated pupils
  • Blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate spikes

At times, an animal freezes up in response to something they perceive as fearful, such as a nail trim or blood draw. By moving slowly, gently, and deliberately, we help to soothe fearful reactions. Our gentle plying typically results in future acceptance of routine procedures.

Fear Free Professional

All of our Licensed Veterinary Technicians are certified in Fear Free practices.

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Maryse and I wish to thank you and your staff for such sensitivity to us, as we sought help for Nica, our chameleon. We appreciate your thoroughness, professionalism. We will share with other pet owners how easy you made an otherwise unhappy experience for us!

–Pam Richards and daughter Maryse

Thank You all very much for taking such good care of me during my little sickness.

– Kia

Thank you so much for everything you did for Quincy. You saved his life!

Your approach and demeanor with us always made us feel as if we and Sabrina were the only ones there.

I will never stop giving thanks for your knowledge, caring and thoughtfulness to Ginger and I.

Dr. Herdon–I would like to thank you and the entire staff at Union Lake for always taking great care of our Peter. Since the treatment he has been running and playing like a puppy. In my personal opinion the Shockwave therapy has worked and I would recommend it to other potential patients.

– Elizabeth and Scott DuSang

I want to thank the entire staff and at the dog training/day care, as well as the grooming/boarding services for the over 20 years of excellent care.

– Sandra Reminga

Just want to say Thank You all very much for taking such good care of me during my little sickness. I was so scared but you all made me feel at home.

– Kia

Thank you so much for everything you did for Quincy. You saved his life! He's doing really well. He's getting his attitude back and soon will be running roughsod over our other cats.

Thank you so very much for your kindness and support during Maggie's final hours...the peaceful experience we had with you could not have been better and I was very glad to have been a part of it...she lived a long, wonderful life, and thanks to you, she had an easy end. Thank you.

...your approach and demeanor with us always made us feel as if we and Sabrina were the only ones there...(you were) forthright and honest. We are so grateful for all you did for us and Sabrina.

God gave you a wonderful skill and talent. I will never stop giving thanks for your knowledge, caring and thoughtfulness to Ginger and I.

Words cannot express how grateful we are that our Maggie had such a wonderful group of people to care for her over the past 12 years. She was always greeted with smiles and treated as though she were one of your own.

Thank you for taking care of me so well. My stitches are doing good and I am getting used to the undershorts my mom makes me wear. My teeth are so nice and clean and I'm eating the new dental crunches.

–Brandy

Jacob always received the best care and kindness/treatment at your facility. Thank you for helping Jacob have a healthy and quality life and a dignified passing. It is a comfort to know all the staff present on the day Jacob passed away were sensitive and professional to us at that difficult time. This includes the front desk staff.

I want to thank the entire staff at Union Lake Vet. and at the dog training/day care, as well as the grooming/boarding services for the over 20 years of excellent care you have provided to our pets. It is hard to find another provider that matches your caliber of dedication, love, and superior health care for animals.

– Sandra Reminga

Dr. Herdon,In the course of our adult lives, we have owned six dogs between us and have experienced a variety of veterinarians. It's this experience that makes it possible for us to fully appreciate just how extraordinary you are. The compassion you showed for Jesse throughout her life and into her final hours puts you in a class of your own. We are truly blessed to call you our vet. Thank you.

– Leslie and Susan

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