Unlike most dentists’ or doctors’ offices, veterinary clinic waiting rooms can be loud, chaotic and potentially dangerous places to be. A few simple rules could make them a lot safer and saner for everyone involved.
Firstly, the vet’s office is not the indoor equivalent of the dog park. It is not the place for pets to play and socialize. There are likely sick animals in the room who may be irritable, weak or contagious. Our veterinary staff will put infectious animals into exam rooms quickly, but we don’t always know right away to do so.
So, every dog should be leashed at the vet’s office, including obedience champions, little cute-as-a-button fluffballs, and that bouncy lab pup who wants to know everybody. For their own protection, puppies that have not been fully vaccinated should be carried or crated if at all possible.
Leashes deserve a little more attention. There are several long discussions by veterinarians online about the evils of the retractable leash. These are plastic-handled contraptions containing coils of thin cord often 20 feet in length or longer. People have lost fingers when the cord gets wrapped around them. People have lost dogs when they darted out into traffic. Please keep all retractable leashes short while at the veterinary office so you can grab your pet’s collar if needed. With that in mind, traditional leashes are often best in many environments.
Lastly, Cats belong in carriers with few exceptions. We have seen too many people shredded by frightened kitties and too many cats lost from the parking lot when this rule is broken. There are ways to acclimate cats to carriers, mainly by transforming them into cozy, treat-laden dens that are left out all the time at home. If the big scary box only emerges before a big scary car ride to the place with barking dogs and sharp needles, it’s going to be tough getting kitty inside. Once in there, she may hurt herself in panic.
If you have any questions on the etiquette we require in our veterinary office, please direct these questions to one of our receptionists at 204-275-2038 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.