How to Behave in a Vet Office

Cat at the Vet

We’ve spent many hours in veterinary waiting room and have had the opportunity to observe behaviors – 2-legged and 4-legged. We are amazed at some of the lack of courtesy displayed which can turn dangerous for some pets and people. We understand that many pets are very well trained, but a vet’s office is very stressful. Even the best trained pet can step out of character. We offer you some common sense suggestions for office behavior.

Dogs need to be leashed and kept close to you. If your dog won’t settle down or exhibits aggression towards other pets, you can inform the receptionist you are waiting outside until your turn. If there is an empty exam room, perhaps you can wait there.

Under no circumstances should your dog be allowed to enter the waiting room unleashed and allowed to roam about. The waiting area is not a playroom. And keeping your pet close to you can be reassuring for him/her as well as leading to less stress for other pets.

Cats, birds and other small animals should be confined in carriers. This will keep them safe and less stressed. And you won’t have to worry about the possibility of escape.

Keep in mind that petting an animal other than your own can spread illness. Many people do not know the cause of their pet’s illness so it’s best to confine your petting to your own pet.

A waiting room can be a friendly place where people with pets will commiserate with each other. However before you pet another animal, ask the owner’s permission. Not everyone wants to socialize. Please respect another’s privacy.

If your pet is ill and especially if your pet’s problem could be contagious, please inform the receptionist that you’ll be waiting outdoors or in your car. Again, if there is an empty exam room, you may be able to wait there.

If at all possible leave young children at home. Your attention has to be focused on your pet and children can be distracting to you and others. There is also the possibility of stressed pets causing them injury. If you must take the children with you, explain the rules of behavior. Have children bring a book or small game to keep them occupied. This is one time where a bribe could work.

All it takes is common sense and consideration of others to make a visit to the veterinary office a positive experience.

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