The vet waiting room can be a stressful place to be, with different smells, noisy animals and loud voices and it’s likely you have experienced some unpleasant times whilst waiting for your appointment. But have you thought about your own manners whilst you wait? Worries about your pet’s health can take over, so here are some rules to follow whilst you wait to be seen.
Don’t let your pet bother other animals
I love dogs. I love meeting new dogs and I love making friends with them. However, I also love my pets who are in carriers, and what I don’t love are owners allowing their dogs to push their faces into my pet’s carrier. My animal, whether it be a cat, rabbit or rodent is scared from sitting in the car and now waiting in a busy waiting room. The number of times I have had to move my pet carrier from an over-excitable or curious dog happens too many times. Even if your pet is being friendly, it’s really not fair on the animal in the carrier. Keep your companion close to you.
Keep your dog on lead and keep your cat in a carrier
Again, I love dogs and cats, but the vet waiting room is not a place to make friends. Not everyone likes dogs and it’s unfair to allow your dog to run over to other people and animals whilst they wait. For all you know, this could be the last moment an owner has with their pet, and your dog could scare them. Your cat may love to be carried at home, but at the vets, they need to be in a secure carrier for their own safety. A scared cat could jump from your arms and other dogs in the surgery may frighten them. Carriers are small, dark places with a familiar smell which will make your kitty feel safe and secure.
Some practices have an area for cats only so they can wait away from other animals. If your cat is nervous, you could try a Feliway spray which can help calm them. They make them for dogs too! Both of these products are odourless to humans and work by mimicking the pheromones the queen or bitch release when the animals are babies.
There is another spray called Pet Remedy which is a natural blend of valerian and other essential oils which is suitable for all pets. This one has a certain smell to us humans and you either love it or you hate it!
It is worth trying both sprays if one doesn’t work as every animal is an individual and may respond to one better than another.
Important – don’t spray these products onto your pet, instead, spray it on a blanket and drape it over the carrier.
Tell the staff if your pet has an accident
Pet’s have accidents. No big deal, it can’t be helped, but please make sure you tell someone on reception so they can clear it up. Most animals at the vets are unwell and could be carrying an illness that could be passed to others. The mess needs to be cleaned up before other animals come into contact with it, or before an owner steps in it.
Scared or aggressive pets should wait elsewhere
If your pet has a fear of other animals, strangers or being at the vets in general, you can tell reception that you are waiting in the car. It is safer for both your animal and the other animals in the waiting room. Being in a familiar place can help your pet to relax a little more, and the vet will call you in when it’s your turn to be seen. This also applies to animals who may have a contagious illness, such as a kennel cough or stomach issues as this could spread to other animals.
Don’t touch other people’s pets, unless the owner says you can
Picking up carriers to look inside, pressing your face up to the cage and touching other people’s animals is a big no-no. Please remember that most these animals are scared and in pain. Many will act differently as to how they normally would as they aren’t feeling great. Although you may love animals, please do not touch animals or carriers without asking first, and don’t be offended if the owner says no.
Treat the staff with respect
The nurses, receptionist and of course, the vet are there to help your animal. It isn’t their fault if your appointment is running late or they can’t speak to you and answer the phone at the same time. They understand that you may be emotional due to worry for your animal, but they are only human. Speak to them like you would like to be spoken to. If you feel a member of staff has done something wrong, or you are unhappy with the bill, ask to speak with someone who can help and don’t shout in the waiting room.
Put your phone on silent
I think one of the most annoying sounds known to man is the BEEP BEEP of mobile phone buttons. Why some people don’t turn this feature off, I will never know, but it makes my ears bleed. I also hate hearing the noise from games. Sure, play on your phone, but turn the sound off!
Quick calls are ok, even longer ones if they are to discuss what you need to say to the vet with a family member or friend, but keep those personal calls personal and don’t natter away in the waiting room on your phone. It’s rude and annoying.
Be respectful to other clients
Sadly, people do go to the vet to have their animal euthanised. Many of us know the unbelievable emotional pain this brings, so asking hundreds of questions, or pointing out the pet looks sick really isn’t helpful. If someone doesn’t seem keen on chatting, be respectful and leave them alone.
I also understand that not everyone likes all types of animals, however, comments like “EW GROSS!” when looking at my sickly rat in her carrier annoys me. Clearly, other people love these animals or they wouldn’t be at the vet. Don’t be rude to others. Better yet, don’t nosey in other people’s carriers. No one likes rude comments when they are worried about their pet.
If we all follow these rules, vet waiting rooms would be a much more pleasant place to be.
It’s never easy to lose a pet. Read this blog on how to cope when an animal passes away.