Waiting Room Etiquette – All Clients Please Read!

A visit to the vet can be stressful for both you and your pet.

Whether he or she is coming in for an emergency or simply a routine checkup, the reception area is where it all starts – and as we have all experienced, vet clinic waiting rooms can become hectic very quickly. Reception is often the busiest location in the entire hospital.  We see everything from clients stopping by to purchase food to unwell patients who are in need of urgent care.

With the veterinary waiting room being such a high-traffic area full of adorable cats and dogs and passionate pet-lovers, it is easy to forget that it is a hospital setting.

Here are a few rules to keep in mind to ensure that you (and the other clients in the clinic) experience a safe and positive visit:

  • Please keep your dog on a leash – at all times! Even if you are just stopping by to grab a treat for your dog, it is never okay to drop your leash and let your dog roam around the room. There may be a very nervous cat in a carrier that is not feeling well and is already stressed. Although having your playful, curious canine companion bounce over to say hi may be cute, our feline friends may not always appreciate the greeting. Other dogs may simply not be up for a visit from an unfamiliar dog.
  • Even if your dog is friendly, other dogs may not be! It is an unspoken rule, and common courtesy to keep your dog on a shortened leash, close to you at all times, away from interaction with other dogs in the waiting room. There may be sick, aggressive, or nervous dogs, and having another dog come up to them may cause them to react. Even though the other dog may be friendly outside, being confined in a smaller area with lots of other people and unfamiliar smells may cause him act in a way it does not normally.
  • Save dog socialization for the dog park. Do not allow your dog to approach an unfamiliar pet without asking, and try to keep the playing for outside. Dogs playing in the waiting room can be stressful to other pets, and if they are barking and roughhousing, it can be disruptive to other appointments in progress. We do not want any accidents to happen under our care!
  • Be mindful of other clients in the waiting room – and remember that others may be experiencing a difficult time. If someone is saying goodbye to their friend, our receptionists will put up a sign and light a candle to notify other clients coming through to be respectful and speak quietly.
  • Even if your dog loves to say hi to other people, remember that not everybody is comfortable with all animals. If your dog is under-socialized or still in training and is prone to jumping up on people to say hi, please do your best to keep them under control as other people go by.

As a final note, our veterinary staff are here to help you and make sure you and your furry companion have a good visit! Please feel free to ask us if you have any questions or need assistance.

Thank you in advance for doing your part in making your visit with us a great one!

-The Parkdale Animal Hospital Staff