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Dr. Phillip Schwarzlose and his staff look forward to meeting you and your pet family.

Please call for an appointment today.

Fearful Felines and Panicky Pups?

Visits to the vet are a fact of life for pet owners.  It is imperative that pets get regular exams, vaccines and screening tests to keep them healthy and happy.  If your dog pulls you into the vet clinic with a wagging tail, if your kitty walks out of its carrier and head-butts the technician, congratulations!  You have an uncommonly well-socialized pet and you can bet your veterinary staff is happy to see your name on the schedule! 

But what if your pet “hates” the vet?  What if every visit ends in growls, snaps, scratches, embarrassment and high blood pressure (yours for sure, and possibly Fluffy’s, too)? What if the visit starts that way before you have even made it through the door?  Do you have a “bad” pet? Does it make you a “bad” owner?  Um… no.  But let’s do talk some more…

Chances are, you love your pets very much and they are wonderful companions.  At home.  In familiar territory, where they know all the actors, the terrain, and the rules.  And if your pet behaves herself in the place or places where she spends 99% of her life, that’s the important thing. 

However – an animal hospital can be a scary place.  Especially if you are short, furry and don’t speak human very well, going to a place full of strangers and unfamiliar smells can be super intimidating.  We realize this and try to make up for it with treats and pats; we get down on your pet’s level and use our soothing voices, but an anxious pet may still view us with distrust, and we don’t blame them.  We don’t blame them. For the record, we don’t blame you either.  What we DO want, however, is to work with you to make your visit as tranquil as possible.

For our part, we try to never rush your pet, instead giving it some time to trust us (at least a little).  You may notice that visits with anxious pets often begin by us ignoring your pet and talking to you instead.  Seeing a friendly relationship between the person they trust and this stranger may allay some of their fears.  It also gives us time to hear about how your pet is doing at home and learn of any health concerns you may have before we move on to the “laying on of hands”.

When it is time to handle your pet, you must know that we are going to go easy and gentle.  We didn’t get into this line of work because we want to hurt animals!  The more we can make the physical exam feel like being “petted and peeked at”, the easier time will be had by all.  Often, by the time we get down to the part where Fido must hold still for a blood draw, nail trim, or vaccine, it turns out to be easier than expected.  For others, we will use a comfortable fabric party mask “just to keep everybody honest” long enough to safely accomplish needed procedures.  Very occasionally, and with your permission, a light sedative may be employed to minimize your pet’s stress.  Don’t worry - what we will not do is put anyone, especially your pet, at risk. 

What can you do?  Mostly just – relax.  Your stress transmits to your pet, and there is no reason for fear – we got this.  If you know or suspect that your pet may be a pistol at the vet, just let us know when making the appointment so we can schedule enough time to do right by your pet.  At Four Paws Veterinary Hospital, we really do care for the life of your Pet!


Our friends here are simply THE BEST! They care about our pets like we care about our pets. They go the extra mile. Dr. Phillip knows SO much about veterinary science, in his calm and unassuming way. Some people are born to it: that's him.

Rebecca K. / San Marcos, TX

Office Hours

Day Morning Afternoon
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
8:00AM 8:00AM 8:00AM 8:00AM 8:00AM 8:00AM Closed
5:30PM 5:30PM 5:30PM 2:00PM 5:30PM 12:00PM Closed

Call for more information!



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