We’re an Accredited Animal Hospital in Key Largo, FL

Our animal hospital holds several notable accreditations which help us provide a higher standard of veterinary care to the dogs and cats of the Florida Keys. This includes being accredited with the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), being a certified Cat Friendly Practice, and having Fear Free Certified Professionals on our team. We work hard to always be the veterinarian you can trust to put your pet’s needs, and yours, first.

About Our AAHA Accreditation

We’re proud to be the first animal hospital in the Upper Keys to become AAHA accredited, and to be the only AAHA accredited hospital or clinic currently practicing in Key Largo and Ocean Reef, FL. Accreditation with AAHA is no easy task; it requires an “all hands on deck” approach from all team members and a collective commitment to excellence.

Under AAHA guidelines, Island Hammock Pet Hospital must abide by over 900 standards of veterinary care, customer service, hospital protocol, and much more. Only about 12-15% of all small animal practices in the country hold this accreditation, and our facility must submit to routine inspections in order to remain accredited. This means that our hospital is always at the forefront of important changes and advances in the veterinary industry.

aaha fear free animal hospital in key largo, FL
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We’re Also Fear Free Certified Professionals

The Fear Free program educates veterinary professionals and pet parents alike, helping us to reduce the fear and anxiety our pets experience when they visit the vet. Their emotional well-being is just as important as their physical health.

Our veterinarians here in Key Largo, FL are currently the only vets in the Florida Keys to be Fear Free Certified Professionals. We have a keen understanding of pet behavior and can make note of emotional responses that indicate anxiety, and find ways to mitigate that anxiety.

What Makes Our Hospital Fear Free for Dogs and Cats?

To become Fear Free Certified, our veterinarians have undergone training and together, we’ve changed the vet experience:

Designated Waiting Areas

Our facility offers species-specific waiting areas, so dogs and cats can remain separated.

Non-Slip Surfaces

Cold, slippery surfaces make it difficult for pets to get their balance, which can exacerbate their anxiety. We use non-slip mats and pheromone-infused towels for pets to sit or stand on.

Tasty Treats

Treats are a great way to distract your pet, reward them for their cooperation, and help them associate vet visits with good things. If possible, bring your pet in with an appetite so they’ll be more receptive to treats. We offer a variety of treats, including hypoallergenic options, so there's something for everyone.


Artificial dog and cat pheromones play a major role in making an environment feel more familiar for pets. Aromatherapy also helps to bring about calm, and we employ the use of relaxing music to enhance the effect.

No Direct Eye Contact

When we first meet your pet, you may notice that we avoid direct eye contact with them and instead focus on you. This way, your pet won’t feel like they’re the center of attention, and they’ll be free to assess their surroundings.

Gentle Handling

We're trained to handle every pet with patience and gentleness to help alleviate their stress. Our goal is to make dogs and cats feel safe without overwhelming them and crowding their personal space.

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Our Goal as a Cat Friendly Practice

Cats have just as many health needs as dogs, but they don’t see their vets nearly as frequently as they should. In fact, cats often miss out on important checkups, either because they show no signs of being unhealthy, or because they are difficult to transport to the vet.

At Island Hammock Pet Hospital, we’re committed to keeping our feline patients healthy, and to maintaining a lasting partnership with cat owners. To make veterinary care easier for cats, we:

  • Offer cat-only exam rooms
  • Use feline pheromones to induce relaxation
  • Can examine your cat in their carrier if they feel more comfortable
  • Are trained to observe changes in physical appearance and behavior in cats to see if their condition has changed
  • Use non-slip mats on our exam tables
  • Handle cats minimally to reduce stress and discomfort
  • Provide treats as a distraction during treatment
  • ...and more
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You deserve to have peace of mind about your pet’s health. If you have any concerns at all, don’t hesitate to call (305) 852-5252 for answers. We’re always here to help.

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