Fear Free Veterinary Visits

Fear Free Level 3

As part of our ongoing commitment to serving our clients and their pets, we are now pleased to incorporate Fear Free principles in every visit. Since 2016, Fear Free has been offering training and certification to veterinarians and staff.

So what is Fear Free? Fear Free is a program that allows veterinary professionals to work with patients and their owners in providing calm and gentle strategies to make each visit less stressful. Some of the measures we use include:

  1. Providing a variety of treats for those who are treat-motivated—soft or hard treats, baby food meats, soft cat foods, peanut butter. This works best when you don’t feed your pet prior to the visit.
  2. Using non-slip surfaces on our scales, and exam tables. We can move rugs into an exam room for those larger dogs.
  3. Using species-appropriate music, and essential oil diffusers.
  4. Using thick towels for cats who like to hide.
  5. Prescription medications may be needed to reduce higher levels of FAS (fear, anxiety and stress).

Most pets experience some level of anxiety when going to the vet. Our goal is to reduce that through some of these measures, so that we may provide the best service to our patients. The approach to a Fear Free visit starts at home, before you put your dog or cat in your car. Ask us for ideas to help make a vet visit less distressing for your special friend.

Fear Free integrates both a considerate approach to the entire visit, and the use of gentle control when providing medical care. Dr. Rush and Alicia Pichler are both Fear Free certified.

"My team and I practice Fear Free medicine, meaning we consider the patient's level of fear, anxiety, and stress.  We work to make their visit more comfortable, and thus yours."

Sign-up using the form or call us at to (515) 270-2240 make an appointment

Our Locations

Office Hours

Main Office


7:30 am-5:30 pm


7:30 am-6:30 pm




7:30 am-6:30 pm


7:30 am-5:30 pm


8:00 am-1:00 pm