Animal Skin and Allergy Clinic Blog
In Our Veterinary Waiting Room, A Little Goes a Long Way
No one likes to wait, and yet, our lives are simply full of waiting. Sometimes, the result of waiting has a sweet or satisfying reward, but generally speaking, waiting can be stressful.
When pets are forced into their carriers or coerced on their leashes to attend an appointment, nerves in our veterinary waiting room can be palpably felt. With a little extra consideration and emotional management, there are ways to reduce anxiety and improve not only your pet’s experience – but that of other waiting pets, too!
Not So Different
Our veterinary waiting room isn’t unlike other waiting rooms. While we want it to be a welcoming and safe place for our patients, the setting can naturally trigger fear, doubt, and stress for visiting pets. This is true for healthy pets coming in for a routine wellness exam, and especially so for pets that are ill or injured.
Meet and Greet?
Designed to host our visitors in a calm, quiet setting, our veterinary waiting room can buzz with activity. Sometimes, pet owners interact with each other and pets are introduced in a friendly manner. That being said, however, some animals do not want to engage and require their own space.
Veterinary Waiting Room Etiquette
Practicing veterinary waiting room etiquette can go a long way to ensuring that all visitors remain safe and calm. We recommend that all visitors observe the following rules before visiting our clinic:
- Contained and controlled – Dogs must always be leashed (ideally, not on retractable leashes), and cats need to be inside their travel crates the entire time.
- Reduce interactions – Some dogs want to meet everyone, but not all visitors want their space bubbles popped. Keep this in mind, and only allow your dog to approach another if their owner says it’s okay.
- Careful observations – Watch your pet’s body language closely. Please do not ignore any danger signs, such as cowering, whining, hair raised up, ears pinned back, etc., and help distract them from perceived threats. If you need to wait outside until your appointment time, please let us know. Also, we discourage use of cell phones in the reception area in order to reduce distractions.
- Close contact – Do not leave your pet alone in the veterinary waiting room. Use the bathroom at home before you leave, or wait until your pet is inside their exam room with personnel to step out.
- Potty Break – Prior to bringing your pet to see us, exercise them and be sure they go to the bathroom. If they have to step out while you’re waiting, that’s 100% acceptable! Please be aware however if you were instructed not to potty your pet before their appointment, the doctor may need a sample.
The bottom line is that our veterinary waiting room is a place for everyone. Please treat others the way you and your pet likes to be treated. It is this golden rule that will help everyone stay safe and calm.