At Good Life Veterinary Care, we believe that your pet’s emotional health is just as important as her physical health. We recognize that a trip to the veterinarian can be a stressful event for many pets – they may be injured or ill, nervous about the sounds, smells and sights of a new place with new people, or may have fear associated with previous negative experiences. Our team strives to do all we can to minimize your pet’s stress, fear and anxiety related to examinations and procedures every time they visit us.

Perception is Reality –
Imagine a typical trip to the vet from your pet’s perspective… you enter a new place with foreign smells, jarring noises of barking dogs and new voices, slippery floors, strange people approaching them and touching them! It’s no surprise that would be an overwhelming, fear-inducing experience! As pet lovers, the last thing we want to do is cause any stress or fear in our patients. Because we can’t explain that to them in words, we have to let our patients know they are safe by making their environment and our interactions with them as low stress as possible.

Fear-Free By Design:
Our state of the art practice was built to reduce noise and odors that can induce stress in pets. We have used sound-blocking technology in our exam rooms and hospital wards and use cleaners that remove scents rather than mask them.
Shiny, slippery surfaces add to pet’s stress, so we have chosen flooring and non-slip exam surfaces to ensure your pet’s comfort and safety.
For many pets, having to come face to face with another dog or cat in the hospital evokes fear or defensiveness, so we have created separate spaces for dogs and cats. We schedule appointments to minimize time spent in the waiting room and offer species-specific waiting areas and the option of having us call you from your car to come directly into an exam room when one is available. Exam rooms are designed just for dogs or cats and offer us the flexibility to perform exams where your pet is most comfortable. Our hospital wards for pets that need to stay with us for care are designed to minimize exposure to other pets – kennels do not face each other and cats have their very own quiet room.

What to expect during a visit:
Our staff is trained to read pets body language and use a low stress approach. This means we may avoid initial eye contact with your pet (which can be perceived as threatening) and allow them to approach us at their own pace.
Unless it is medically inappropriate, you can expect us to use many small tasty treats to distract and reward your pet during the exam and any medical procedures. We want your pet to associate veterinary visits and handling with great things!
During your visit, will we take time to learn your pets individual preferences and determine which rewards and techniques work best to reduce their fear so each new visit can be better than the last.
If your pet becomes too stressed at any point in the visit, we will stop any non-essential treatments and reschedule with a plan to minimize stress and fear. We may try a different approach or use pheromones, supplements or medications when necessary to reduce anxiety.

Preparing for a Fear-Free Visit:
Bring your pet with a healthy appetite. Reducing the amount of food your pet consumes prior to their visit can help prevent nausea associated with car rides and make the food rewards we use during the visit more appealing.
Let us know what treats and rewards your pet prefers. Bring your pet’s favorite food cut into small bites or their favorite toy. If your pet or family have any food allergies, please let us know so we can avoid those items.
Budget plenty of time for your visit to avoid being rushed. If you are stressed, your pet will be too.
Talk to our team about options if you think anti-nausea or anti-anxiety medications would help your pet have a more pleasant experience.

Good Life Veterinary Care is proud to offer Fear-Free veterinary care to Gurnee, Grayslake, Libertyville, Lindenhurst, Lake Villa, Gages Lake, Waukegan, Lake Forest and surrounding areas.