Tips for the Waiting Room…From the Waiting Room

 

Let’s face it. Veterinary appointments can be stressful for both pets and clients.  Hospital staff will give you a gold star and everyone will have a better experience if you use the following etiquette pointers when visiting your pet doc.

Don’t Let Your Dog Pee on the Food Bags

But if he does, please tell us.  We know that many dogs are overwhelmed by the smells of multiple animals in the same small space.  Canine instinct tells dogs to mark and say, “Hey, Dude!  I was here!”  We get it.  The thing is, if your Golden Doodle does not eat feline kidney diet, I can’t sell you that bag to take home.  Let the receptionist know, and she will thank you for your honesty, grab the paper towels, and clean the mess before it sinks into the bag.  We also appreciate being told if your dog pooped in the parking lot on your way into the clinic.  Never be embarrassed by poop, pee, or other pet bodily substances.  We are experts at the quick pet mess clean-up!

Don’t Put Your Cat Carrier on the Floor

Cats may act like the king of the jungle among your potted plants at home, but they can be super frightened when you bring them into the hospital.  You will never convince Fluffy that the Irish wolfhound sticking his nose into her carrier to say hi means anything but, “I’m about to eat you.”  Scaredy cats in turn show their fear by biting and scratching.  It’s not their fault, and we know that.  We can help cats by keeping their carriers on your lap or on top of a counter or side table, so they’re at eye level or above any potential tormenters.

Skipping Ropes, Belts, and Boat Towing Chains Can Make Acceptable Leashes

Most veterinary clinics have signs that ask clients to keep pets leashed or in carriers.  The trick here is to keep your pet on a short leash right at your side and maintain the smallest possible pet-human footprint within the waiting room.  Your Akita may be the friendliest dog in the world, but the Chihuahua in the Gucci handbag looks in the mirror every morning and sees a Rottweiler.  “Little Dog Syndrome” has started more fights in hospital waiting rooms than any other reason known to veterinarians.  Assume that every other dog is unsure of other pets, small children, and guys with baseball caps, and we’ll be more chill.

Don’t Let Kids Hold Hamsters, Turtles, and Cockatiels in their Hands

Children learn so much about empathy and responsibility by caring for pets.  I encourage parents to bring their young people to veterinary visits, so our staff can give them kid-sized pointers about small pet wellness and nutrition.  Let me tell you, kids listen way better than most adults!  We just don’t want Sugar the Cat to pounce on little Timmy’s lap while he’s clutching Flash the Gerbil.  Catching terrified budgies smashing themselves against reception walls is not a pleasant experience for anybody, especially young Suzy. Be kind to your children and your pocket pets by using a small carrier or properly sealed cardboard box with small air holes.  Call the front desk before your appointment if you need extra assistance with homemade pet transport.

Receptionists Are People Too

Really, they are.  Receptionists all start their careers thinking that working with animals and people every day will be the best job ever.  Who wouldn’t love petting kitties and offering liver treats to dogs while admitting them to the hospital?

Then they get to the end of their first day.  Clients and staff alike expect them to have all of the knowledge of a veterinarian with little formal education.  They hear the complaints when doctors are behind schedule.  They take the guff when the office manager forgot to order Tommy Six-Toes’ compounded heart medicine chews.  They have to inform clients about invoice totals, praying to whatever all-knowing deity is listening, that the veterinarian stuck to her dental procedure estimate.

Please be kind to these hard-working employees that don’t get to eat lunch or even use the washroom at regular intervals. There’s no time when all four telephone lines are on hold, and they’re trying to get snarling Gucci Chihuahua into a consult room before he gets eaten by Happy Akita.

Welcome to Our Veterinary Hospital

Your pet’s well-being is our number one reason for being here, and we want you both to look forward to your visits.  Help us make our clinic your pet’s second favourite place in the world. Common sense and a little spatial awareness goes a long way in the reception area environment.  Be understanding with folks whose dogs don’t have great manners. Smile at the lady with the yowling cat.  Be patient when the receptionist looks up from her phone and smiles hello as you walk through the door.  Make sure your puppy gets to try all five flavours of the treats hiding in our pockets.  We look forward to seeing you soon in the waiting room!