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When we’re children we’re generally taught to mind our manners and how to behave in specific places. For instance, in classrooms you raise your hand before speaking. In libraries, you speak as quietly as possible while still making yourself heard. Unfortunately, few of us learn the expectations we should have of ourselves and our animals while in veterinary offices. That doesn’t have to be the case! Below is a basic “Vetiquette” guide that will help everyone in your pets’ vet visits feel respected and appreciated.

First and foremost, take the time to call ahead whenever possible. You can even save us under your favorite contacts for easy access! We want to be well prepared and ready to provide the care your pets need. The best way to ensure we’re able to do so is to simply pick up the phone the moment you know you’re coming in or need to schedule an appointment. The more each individual client plans ahead, the more efficiently we can serve everyone efficiently. But don’t just give us a ring when you need to come in—let us know if you need to cancel or reschedule too! We, along with many other clinics, will offer walk in visits but priority typically goes with the clients who make an appointment. Besides, if every client is able to schedule again, we’ll be able to help more pets in need by filling open appointment spaces! To help create better access to your pets records or to set up an appointment 24/7, we have also partnered with PetDesk to help you with your pet care needs. Click here for more information on why pet parents should download the PetDesk application on your phone and how it can help you keep up with your pets needs.

Next, be mindful of others when you’re bringing in a contagious or panicky pet. If you call us from the parking lot so that we know you’ve arrived, we’re happy to step outside to let you know when we’re ready for your furry family member or can help you transport the pet safely inside. If your pet has special needs, an appointment is key so we can be sure to block off a time to dedicate our staff fully to your pet. All of us want our pets to be well, that’s why you’re bringing them into the office! So let’s work together to prevent disease transmission at the vet. On that same note, keep your pets properly restrained when you come into the waiting area. Large dogs should be on short leads, small dogs and cats should be in carriers, etc. Always remember to make crates and carriers safe spaces that your pets feel comfortable in rather than throwing them in the strange object right before the appointment!

Being mindful about the pet you’re bringing in is a great start but we also need you to be mindful about your own behavior too. Please, be on time for your appointments or call us and let us know if you are running late. Other clients may have pets who are nervous at the vet and may not want your dog jumping on them or sniffing around a dog or carrier while others would love nothing more than a puppy jumping all over them. Vet clinics understand that we are all busy people, so patience is key, especially when a pet is going through treatment for an illness. It can be stressful dealing with a sick pet, not to mention emotional, but understand the your veterinarian has the pets, and your, best interest at heart.

Speaking of your behavior, please don’t lie. Dishonesty is useless at best (we know how long it takes for nails to grow that long) and, at worst, you could be putting your pet’s life at risk. You’re bringing your pet in for care because you love them, and we recognize that. Help us to do our jobs more effectively by writing down any strange behaviors or physical symptoms along with their progression. The time frame can also help us better diagnose your pet if they are sick. If you have to bring your pet in for treatment, we’ll have the details we need to treat them effectively!

Finally, please don’t doc-and-dash us! If you communicate with us about your financial situation from the beginning, we will always do what we can to accommodate. Try to understand our perspective: if we go out of business we can’t treat any pets. If your pet is having an emergency and you know you won’t be able to afford the cost of care, we do have payment plans to set up to ensure your pet is treated. We will never let a pet leave the clinic sick or hurt without having a plan in place to effectively treat them. Wellness Plans are also available to help defer any costs that your pet accrued during throughout the year.

We appreciate you taking the time to read this blog post and look forward to your next visit. Remember to call us at (703) 378-9791 or set up your PetDesk account to schedule an appointment.