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Fear-Free Veterinary Care at North Shore Veterinary Hospital

Kitty in a Fear Free Exam Room

At North Shore Veterinary Hospital, we are committed to providing your pet a visit that is as free of fear, anxiety and stress (FAS) as possible. A visit that is comfortable and relaxed will contribute to the health and well-being of your animal companion. Animals that experience FAS during veterinary visits are less likely to return for future wellness exams and may only come in when experiencing illness. A stressed or fearful pet may result in limited physical exams, a decreased ability to perform diagnostic tests and even slower recovery from illness. Your pet’s health is our highest priority, so addressing and reducing fear is an essential component in that process.

We know that we can’t make every visit completely free of FAS, but we will make every effort we can to reduce the FAS related to examinations and procedures. Our efforts to reduce FAS involve facility improvements as well as staff education and training. Here is what you can expect from a visit to North Shore Veterinary Hospital:

Our Staff

Fear Free Certified

All staff are required to become Fear Free certified professionals. This certification program consists of eight modules and tests and provides the team with a better understanding of how to recognize, prevent and treat FAS in animals throughout their visit to our hospital. 100% of our staff that has been employed longer than 90 days has achieved this designation! Our staff are also trained in low-stress handling techniques to further minimize FAS in animals.

We create and "emotional medical record" for each pet that allows us to learn from each visit—to identify FAS triggers and techniques which successfully help reduce FAS. With this record, we can work to further reduce symptoms of FAS with each subsequent visit. Treats everywhere—as long as there is not a reason to avoid treats in your pet, our staff will generously offer treats throughout the visit. Thoughtful approach—our staff uses distraction techniques for invasive procedures and small-gauge needles for vaccinations.


Floor scale for easily weghing dogs
  • No waiting room

    Our greeter will take you directly to an exam room, so that you can wait for your veterinary team where it is quiet and comfortable.

  • Non-slip floors

    Our floors are rubber-based with a high non-slip coefficient, even when wet.

  • Dog scale recessed into the floor

    We know that getting on the scale can be stressful for dogs, so we have made it easy for them to walk right on without fear of needing to get up onto an uncomfortable surface.

  • Specific dog and cat exam rooms

    Dogs and cats have different needs, so our species-specific rooms are thoughtfully designed to best meet their needs.

  • Specific dog and cat treatment rooms

    When medical procedures need to be performed, we provide separate treatment areas for dogs and cats, to further reduce their stress.

  • Specific dog and cat hospitalization wards

    When animals need to stay at our hospital, we have species-specific areas for them to stay. These areas utilize calming pheromone diffusers and calming music.

  • Fear Free Color Scheme

    Our design of the dog and cat spaces included the use of colors designed to reduce FAS.

  • Phermones

    All of our dog and cat rooms have species-specific pheromone aromatherapy diffusers, which emit calming substances into the air.

  • Calming music

    Pet friendly music is present throughout the facility to provide a calming effect.

Another kitty in a Fear Free Exam Room

Your Role in FAS Prevention

The fear, anxiety and stress of a veterinary visit often starts before you even walk in our front door! There are numerous triggers that can raise the FAS symptoms and you can work to reduce those by preparing for the visit and utilizing Fear Free techniques prior to the visit.

Fill out and submit our online Pre-visit questionnaire prior to your pet's visit to our facility.

Pre-visit Questionnaire

Helpful Handouts

Download and review the handouts "Preparing for the Visit" and "How to Make the Trip to the Veterinary Hospital Fear Free".

Contact Us

(218) 525-1937

Fax: (218) 525-2311

Request an Appointment

North Shore Veterinary Hospital
6001 E. Superior St.
Duluth, MN 55804

Clinic Hours

  • Monday:
  • Tuesday:
  • Wednesday:
  • Thursday:
  • Friday:
  • Saturday:
  • Sunday:
  • 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • 8 a.m. – Noon
  • Closed