Pet Hospital Lobby Etiquette: It’s Real and It Matters
For the most part, pet owners are intuitive and respectful when it comes to other people and animals, but we all find ourselves in tricky situations every once in a while. For example, it’s not uncommon for tensions to percolate in the hospital waiting area. Whether your pet gets a little nosy with others or feels frightened by such alarmingly close proximity to strangers, a bit of pet hospital lobby etiquette may come in handy for your next visit.
Most pet owners are solely concerned with how their pet will handle a visit to the vet. For some pets, leaving home and traveling in a car to the hospital is a deeply upsetting experience requiring extra care and consideration. Fear, stress, anxiety, and pain can cause pets to behave in uncharacteristic ways.
For the sake of everyone’s safety, pets must either be on-leash (please, no retractable leashes) or comfortably contained in a secure carrier. If your pet hasn’t been exposed to a positive crate training experience, it’s never too late get started. Not only helpful in acclimating them to their crate prior to hospital visits, a crate can also provide a safe, secure space to retreat to when needed.
Crates are best for small dogs and cats. Puppies are best held in your arms until they are fully vaccinated.
Testing the Water
Many animals are curious about other pets, but pet hospital lobby etiquette must take into account the following:
- Other animals may not want any outside attention due to high stress levels, injury, or illness.
- Always ask the other owners if your pet can approach them and their pets; if the answer is no, please redirect your pet away from them. This preventative measure not only protects the other pet, but if they are sick and/or contagious, your pet is better off, too.
- Normally sweet, affectionate, and calm animals act differently in environments where they perceive threats. Please be watchful of any changes in behavior and always reassure your pet.
- If your pet is receiving unwanted attention from other animals in our lobby, and their owner isn’t receptive to your requests, please let us know immediately. We may be able to move you and your pet to another space.
Pointers for Pet Hospital Lobby Etiquette
Generally speaking, the following additional pointers can help you make the most of our pet hospital lobby etiquette:
- Encourage your pet to peacefully mind their own business – and reward them for good behavior with their favorite treats. A pet hospital lobby is not the place to test out their socialization skills.
- Increase your environmental awareness while waiting. Knowing who else is around or approaching can drastically reduce possibly negative interactions.
- Always stay with or adjacent to your pet; never leave them unattended.
- Alert us promptly if there was an accident in the lobby (believe us, it happens a lot, and is completely normal), or if your pet has to go outside.
The Pet Experts are Always Here For You
We accept walk-ins during our Doctor's Hours to meet your busy lifestyle. If you’d prefer to make an appointment, we offer those too!
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