A veterinary hospital lobby is a busy place! It can be fun to see the different animals, chat with other pet owners, and catch up with your reading or work. But the ever changing environment and all the comings and goings can also provide a space for problems to escalate rapidly.
We want all our patients to be safe, and to feel less stress when coming for their veterinary visit. With that in mind, Advantage Veterinary Center is passing along some best practices for veterinary hospital lobby etiquette and safety. With a little knowledge and preparation, we can make your pet’s and other pet’s visits more enjoyable and less stressful.
Veterinary Hospital Lobby Etiquette and Safety
The hospital lobby is a small space, and although you’ll likely meet some pets who are healthy and well, keep in mind that not all who visit us are. Some pets need special accommodation because they are sick or in pain. Keeping this in mind can help to alleviate potential problems.
Dogs on leash – one of the easiest and most basic things you can do for lobby safety is to have your dog on leash at all times, and to keep the leash short while in the lobby. Dogs love to explore, but the lobby is not the place to do it.
Cats in carriers – our feline friends are simply not safe outside their carriers. Your cat may not love her carrier, but it gives her protection from escape, dogs, and other pets and people she may encounter while in our lobby. If you don’t have a carrier, even a simple pillowcase to carry her in for a short time will do.
Give us a call for tips on how to help your cat get better acclimated to her cat carrier before your visit.
Puppy place – for his safety, please don’t allow your puppy or kitten to interact with other pets in the lobby. You should hold your puppy (kittens should be in carriers) to prevent these young and vulnerable pets from contracting disease that they are not vaccinated for yet. If you prefer, we can make arrangements ahead of time for you and your puppy or kitten to wait in your car.
Skip the meet and greet – animals are curious, and it may seem fun to have them meet each other in the lobby. But the confined space, the stress of a new place, and being in pain can make some dogs uncharacteristically aggressive. It’s safest to keep dogs from meeting and greeting one another in the lobby.
Be aware – with all the comings and goings, it’s easy for the atmosphere in the hospital lobby to change and escalate. Our staff do their best to keep the lobby environment calm, but it’s a good idea for pet owners to keep an eye out as well. It’s hard to focus when you’re on your cell phone, so we suggest turning it off for the duration of your appointment.
Don’t leave your pet unattended – this one is simple! Please don’t leave your pet unattended. If you need to use the bathroom, please take your pet with you.
Cat consideration – cats are naturally stressed in new environments, and having a dog sniff at their carrier can tip them over the edge. This can make their own exam not go as well as it could have. Please save the kitties in our lobby some stress by keeping your dog away from cat carriers.
A little obedience training goes a long way toward letting your dog know what’s expected – at home and in the lobby.
A Helping Hand
We want to help make your pet’s visit as stress free as possible, and there are some accommodations and tips we can offer. Please call us ahead of time for any questions or concerns about lobby etiquette and safety. Here are some ways we can help:
- Making a plan before you arrive for waiting in your car for your appointment, and then going directly to an exam room (skipping the lobby altogether).
- Use of cat and dog pheromones before and during your visit to alleviate stress and anxiety
- Desensitization techniques to use for your pet’s ride in the car
We’re here to help, so if you have any questions about veterinary hospital lobby etiquette and safety, please give our team a call. We hope to see you and your pet soon!