Bringing your pet to the vet clinic can be stressful for both of you. In previous blogs we have talked about Fear Free visits. We went over procedures to keep your cats and dogs stress free and proper ways to transport your pets. Your and your pet’s etiquette in the lobby makes a big difference in how the visit goes in general. In this blog we will provide information to help make it more pleasant while arriving and waiting for your appointment.
Check your pet’s collar/harness and leash before leaving your home. Harnesses often work better, because they don’t pull on their neck. Whichever you use, it should be snug enough so your pet will not slip out of it but not so tight that it harms them. One way to tell that a collar is fitted correctly is by putting two of your fingers between your pet’s neck and the collar. We strongly recommend regular leashes because they give you much better control. Even if your dog is always well-behaved, you may find that with the sights, sounds and smells of the clinic they may get distracted and not listen to you! If you do use a retractable leash make sure it is locked with your pet close to you before exiting your vehicle. If you are bringing a cat or other small animal to the clinic we recommend a pet carrier, although some cats enjoy harnesses! For most cats and small animals, a carrier will make them feel more secure and safe. The carriers that are made of molded plastic or heavy canvas are preferred as they allow the pet to feel visually secure and they can easily be opened or taken apart so that the pet does not have to be “dragged” or forced out of the carrier. The open, wire cage-type carriers are less desirable because the animal has nowhere to hide and feels quiet vulnerable if there are other pets in the waiting area!
Arriving at the Vet Clinic
Once you arrive at the clinic do not let your pet out of your car unless they are on a leash or in a carrier. You do not want to put your pet in danger of having an unanticipated encounter with another pet or running away. Even if they are very good and listen they may be stressed or scared therefore they may run or go after another pet or human. If you do not have a leash, please come in and ask to use one of ours. If your pet is small and is not in a carrier let the receptionist know so they can find an exam room for you to go into.
Upon arrival your pet may need to use the bathroom after a stressful ride so let them walk around outside for a while. When entering the clinic lobby make sure you enter before your pet. You want to make sure it is safe and that you are aware of the surroundings before they enter. Please keep your pet close to you on a leash or in a carrier until you get into a room. Be considerate of the other pets in the clinic lobby. Many are scared, not feeling well, or do not want to interact with other pets or people. You should always ask the owner if it is okay for you or your pet to socialize with theirs.
Never reach out to touch someone else’s pet without asking
Please keep cats and other small animals in their carriers on our “Carrier Parking” shelves. These shelves have been made specifically to keep them out of the reach of other pets and help them feel safe. Let the receptionist know if your pet is stressed so they can get you into a room as soon as possible. We also have bandannas, towels and blankets that we can spray with calming pheromones (Adaptil for dogs and Feliway for cats) to help keep your pet calm. Our clinic has ten staff members who are certified Fear Free and we are a Cat Friendly Practice!
After your visit you will again find yourself in the lobby (ideally on the other side from where you entered). All of the same etiquette rules apply as you leave the clinic. As pets are leaving they may be even more excited and are likely to want to run and jump, sometimes at other pets and people. Although you know your pet is just excited, that can be very scary for the owner and the pet that your pet is approaching! Walk out the door before your pet so you can assess the situation outside. Keep your pet on a leash or in a carrier until they are safely in the vehicle.
By following these easy suggestions we can work together to make sure your pet has the best possible experience at Oakview!
written by Pat Eckes and Tammy Novotny
Pat grew up near Mosinee, WI on a dairy farm, where her family had cows, chickens, rabbits, cats, dogs, ducks and all the extra wild animals that came around. She joined Oakview in 2009.
Pat and her husband have 2 children and six grandchildren. Pat enjoys cooking and gardening.
Tammy began working with us in April 2017. She was born and raised in Auburndale.
Tammy shares her life with her husband Derek and two children, Kendall aged 7 and Devin aged 5. Her hobbies include volleyball, photography, and painting.