Calm, Stress-Free Care for Animals in Fairfax

Calm, Stress-Free Care for Animals in Fairfax

Fairfax Veterinary Hospital is welcomed to the City.

From left are Drs. Melissa Gosline and Lauren Ranivand, with stuffed animals playing the roles of “nurse” and “patient” in the surgical area.

From left are Drs. Melissa Gosline and Lauren Ranivand, with stuffed animals playing the roles of “nurse” and “patient” in the surgical area. Photo by Bonnie Hobbs.


Fairfax Mayor David Meyer (gray suit) cuts the ribbon during Fairfax Veterinary Hospital’s grand opening.

Taking a pet to the veterinarian can be stressful for both pets and their owners – but not at Fairfax Veterinary Hospital. That’s because the Fear Free Certified staff and facility are dedicated to providing an anxiety-free experience for pets and humans alike.

The hospital’s motto is “Where love meets health,” and it recently opened for business at 10396 Willard Way in Fairfax City’s Courthouse Shopping Center. Hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m., and select Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Phone 703-591-0222 or go to

Veterinarians Lauren Ranivand and Melissa Gosline pride themselves on integrating “the best therapies from both western and alternative medicine to provide high-quality care with compassion.” And their hospital is also officially recognized as a “Cat Friendly Practice.”

SERVICES PROVIDED include: Wellness, sick-pet and orthopedic exams; immunizations; radiology; ultrasonography; surgery; dentistry; geriatric care; pain management; allergy consultation and treatment; in-house pharmacy and laboratory testing; parasite control; and dog training. In addition, it offers integrative medicine, including alternative therapies such as therapeutic laser, acupuncture and massage.

“We chose Fairfax City for our location because there was a need,” explained Ranivand. “We see a lot of pets here.”

And, added Gosline, “There’s not a lot of veterinarians here – especially those who do integrative medicine and minimize stress and fear.”

The facility has seven other staff members, besides Ranivand and Gosline. It opened in August and held a ribbon-cutting this fall. During the short ceremony, the two doctors thanked the City, their parents, friends, family members and loyal clients for making it all possible and then gave tours of the building.

“The rooms have calming colors, gentle lighting, nonslip floors, toys and treats,” said Gosline. “In our holistic room, we do acupuncture and massage, as well as laser to decrease pain and inflammation to help pets as they get older.”

Cats and dogs have separate exam rooms, plus separate wards, if an animal needs to stay for awhile during the day. (There’s no overnight boarding). “We play soft, classical music to calm them,” said Ranivand. “And we also put bandanas sprayed with calming pheromones on the dogs.”

She said they try to provide the animals with all the comforts of home. “For dogs, even having a water bowl in the room with them is amazing,” she said. “And for cats, there’s a litter box. It’s something familiar to them and is helpful if they arrive with a full bladder.”

Besides that, said Gosline, “We plan extra time in the appointments so the animals can walk around and get acclimated.” That way, she said, they’ll feel more relaxed and at ease.

Both she and Ranivand became doctors of veterinary medicine at Virginia Tech, but this is the first time they’ve worked together. “We’re so excited to be here,” said Gosline. “It’s a dream come true to be doing what we love.”

“And we love our team,” added Ranivand. “We’re thankful to have this opportunity.”

SEVERAL MEMBERS of Fairfax City’s government and staff attended the ribbon-cutting, including Mayor David Meyer, who said the City is “thrilled” to have Drs. Ranivand and Gosline here.

“It’s very affirming to have two local women who studied the hard sciences bring their professional skills to a new business in our downtown,” he said. “Fairfax Veterinary Hospital is using progressive techniques in their care of animals, and I am confident that their novel and compassionate approach will be very-well received by their clientele.”