A dog sitting in the lobby with their human

Bringing your pet to the veterinarian can invoke a wide variety of emotions depending on why you’re there and how your pet reacts to different sights, sounds, and smells. The constantly changing environment can be stressful, and situations can escalate quickly if precautions aren’t in place.

Brushing up on veterinary hospital lobby etiquette can help ensure a safe and calm experience for you, your pet, and everyone else.

Safe and Sound

Even if your pet is happy and healthy, it’s important to remember that others may not be so fortunate. Fear, anxiety, and pain can cause pets to react in adverse ways, making veterinary hospital lobby etiquette important for everyone’s safety.

Dogs should be leashed at all times in the lobby (no retractable leashes please!). Cats and small dogs should be inside a carrier, and puppies should be held safely in your arms until they’re fully vaccinated. Allowing them to interact with other animals before then puts them at risk for contracting a disease.

Rules for Good Veterinary Hospital Lobby Etiquette

It’s natural for pets to be curious about other animals, but the safety and comfort of all patients in the waiting room should be a top priority. Consider these ideas for good veterinary hospital lobby etiquette:

  • Other animals may not want any outside attention due to stress, pain, or shyness.
  • No matter how friendly your pet is, don’t allow them to approach other pets in the lobby.
  • Be aware that the ever-changing environment in the lobby can bring about changes in demeanor for even the most docile pets. Always monitor your pet’s behavior and be there to reassure them if needed.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times – knowing who’s nearby or approaching can make a difference when it comes to curbing unwanted interactions.
  • Always stay with or adjacent to your pet; never leave them unattended.
  • If your pet has an accident in our lobby, please let us know right away. Don’t worry, it happens all the time!

Set for Success

In some cases, reducing your pet’s stress can begin before you arrive at our clinic. A few accommodations we suggest include:

  • Desensitize your pet to their carrier and/or the car (we’re happy to offer tips!).
  • Use calming dog or cat pheromone sprays.
  • Make a plan to wait in the car until your appointment time and go directly in to the exam room.
  • A little bit of obedience training goes a long way when it comes to keeping pets calm during stressful situations. Elmhurst Animal Care Center offers professional, ethical obedience training for puppies and dogs.

The Pet Experts are happy to talk over these ideas and more. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns regarding veterinary hospital lobby etiquette.