3 Ways to Ensure a Safe Veterinary Waiting Room Experience

My Oncology team and I have more than thirty years combined working in veterinary hospitals. Over the years, we have seen many different interactions in the waiting room. These are the top three things you can do to ensure a safe experience for everyone while you wait to be seen.

  1. Make sure children understand how to interact with other people’s pets
    Most pets in the NorthStar VETS lobby are either sick or painful. It is best to not to interact with other people’s pets without permission. Encourage children to ask permission before interacting with a pet, and help them understand that a sick/hurting/scared animal may not want to be pet.

    This applies to your four-legged children as well. Dogs naturally want to sniff or play with other animals in the waiting room, but you don’t always know why other owners have their pets in the hospital. If those pets are sick, they may not want to play.

  2. Avoid retractable dog leashes
    Many clients like retractable leashes, but they do come with risks. With a retractable leash, dogs can be more difficult to control, may not understand their boundaries, and the leash has the potential to snap due to wear over time. It also tempts dogs to greet other dogs in the waiting room. Read Dr. Marty Becker’s post on the top 10 risks of retractable leashes

  3. Use a carrier for smaller pets
    If you own a cat, bird or other small animal, please keep them in a carrier. Some dogs have a strong prey drive, and may take an unwelcome interest in your pet. And having smaller pets in a carrier makes it easier to get them into the hospital and into and out of the exam room.

    This is another important tip. If your pet requires a muzzle, allow your veterinary professional to place it on your pet. Many of us are very skilled at understanding the scared or hurt pet that might be potentially reactive. In most cases, we are able to gently restrain a pet without the aid of our clients.

    Our top priorities are the pet, their well-being and safety for everyone.

    Jennifer Kim, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)Jennifer Kim, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)
    Dr. Kim grew up in New York and received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania. After two years at the National Cancer Institute performing cancer genetic research, she attended veterinary school at Tufts University. Dr. Kim completed a rotating internship at the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan, New York, and an oncology internship at Cornell University. She began at NorthStar VETS as an emergency clinician in 2005 and returned in 2010 to treat oncology patients after completing her residency in medical oncology at Michigan State University School of Veterinary Medicine. In her free time, Dr. Kim is an avid foodie and knitter.

This entry was posted in Pets, Veterinary Medicine and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *