Hospital Lobby Etiquette: Safety First
In the veterinary world, the hospital lobby can be a very busy place! It’s always fun to see our clients – new and established – come through our doors, and sometimes, we have many pets and people waiting to see us. Since safety is always a top priority, we want to offer some tips for proper lobby etiquette.
Safety and Lobby Etiquette
There are a few things that dramatically increase your pet’s safety in the lobby. Pets can be under a lot of stress in new environments, and the smells and sounds of a veterinary hospital make it one of the most stressful environments they encounter. While we take measures to help alleviate stress during exams, we also need your help. Lobby etiquette is for the safety and comfort of all our patients and clients.
- Cats in carriers – Your cat is at risk if they’re out of their carrier in the lobby. There are pets and other hazards that can scare and potentially hurt them. You also don’t want to be scratched or bitten because your pet is stressed and feeling vulnerable.
- Dogs on leashes – Dogs must be leashed for the same reason that cats should be contained: it’s for their own safety. Leashes should be nylon or leather and be 6 feet long or less. Retractable leashes are not recommended, but if you have one, it must be locked and kept short so your dog doesn’t explore and get into trouble.
- Save the meet and greet – The lobby is a confined area with many pets and other people; we don’t want your dog to encounter another dog who may be stressed, sick, or in pain. Although your dog may be friendly, some pets don’t like other animals invading their space. Similarly, some people don’t appreciate strange dogs being too close or they may be allergic. For the sake of good lobby etiquette, keep your dog from sniffing and greeting other animals and people.
- Keeping dogs away from carriers – Dogs are naturally curious, but there’s nothing more terrifying for a cat than having a dog sniff at their carrier. Cats abhor strange smells, noises, and places, so a veterinary lobby is already a stressful environment for them. Having another animal sniff at them can tip them over the edge, causing their veterinary exam to not go as well as it could have.
- Being aware – With all the comings and goings, the atmosphere in the lobby can change quickly. While our staff do their best to keep things calm, it’s a good idea for owners to keep an eye out for situations, as well. It’s hard to pay attention when you’re on your cell phone, so we suggest turning it off for the duration of your appointment.
- Leaving your pet unattended – This one is simple – never leave your pet unattended in the lobby. Even if you have to use the restroom, take your pet with you.
A little obedience training can go a long way toward helping your dog understand what’s expected, both at home and in the hospital lobby.
We’re Here to Help
If you have any questions about lobby etiquette, please call us beforehand to discuss your concerns. We want every visit to be as stress-free as possible. Talk to us about accommodations, such as:
- Tips to reduce your pet’s anxiety and fear both before and during your visit
- Use of pheromones to calm your cat in their carrier
- Making a plan for when you arrive to wait in your car and then go directly into an exam room
With a little preparation and knowledge about pet behavior, you and your pet can avoid unnecessary stress in the lobby. If you’d like additional tips or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call the team at The Pet’s Place Animal Hospital.