How Do We Minimize Fear?


Graceful Departure Pet Center was the world’s first End of Life Certified Fear Free℠ Practice!  After an intense 4 month process with every team member working together to prepare for our inspection, we passed!  Since we no longer have our clinic and strictly work in our clients’ homes, we gave up our Fear Free℠ Practice Certification but we still continue to use the same techniques in the home setting.

We will be observing your pet’s body language to guide which techniques we use to help minimize any anxiety, stress, and fear.  These may include using species specific pheromones, Harp Enrichment Therapy music, tossing treats to your pet, positioning ourselves at a distance or facing away from your pet, not making eye contact, and gentle and respectful restraint techniques to minimize any fear, anxiety, and stress your pet may be feeling.

Some signs of anxiety, stress, and fear can include:

  • Whale eye (showing the whites of their eyes) or looking away
  • Yawning
  • Having their tail tucked between their legs
  • Moving away from being touched or freezing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Raising their hackles, fluffing up their haircoat
  • Growling
  • Hissing (cats)
  • Licking lips

Signs of pets being relaxed:

  • “Soft” eyes
  • Approaching with friendly, wagging tail (or cats with tails up)
  • Relaxed body posture

Our goal is to provide as gentle and peaceful a transition as is possible. Some pets have deeply ingrained fears and we will do our best to minimize it. There may be situations where the fear response is so great that we must cause a little discomfort (a sedative injection, for instance), in order to decrease the pet’s anxiety. In any case, we will be as gentle and respectful as we can safely be.

Fear Free℠ Happy Homes is a free resource for pet parents to learn more about making their home Fear Free℠ and helping their pets live happy lives.  For more information on Fear Free℠ Happy Homes, Click here

Contact Us:

Phone: (619)741-5366

Mailing Address:
Graceful Departure
3755 Avocado Blvd #438
La Mesa, CA 91941

We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone