Etiquette at the Vet

If you have a dog, or a cat, or a few of each like we do, you will have been at the vet at some point.

I spend quite a lot of time at our vet… We do the normal vet visits for inoculations – with four dogs and four cats we take one a month so we don’t go broke. 🙂 We also have some special needs pets. We have a half-blind cat named Twister, who was born deformed and is now on a special diet ‘coz he gets crystals in his urine and then pees everywhere except in the litterboxes.
We have a blind Labrador name Riddick, who has cataracts as well, and has now been diagnosed diabetic and is on insulin.
We have an epileptic dog named Louise who is pretty much okay most of the time, as long as she has her meds…
And I stop in once a week with whichever Guide Dog puppy we have so they can be weighed, and get used to being in the vet’s office.
Our vet’s receptionists get to know our zoo quite well.

When I do go to the vet, my dogs are on lead, and my cats are on lead AND crated – as per the signs in the vet’s reception.
Keeping the cats away from other animals in the reception is pretty easy, their being in crates. Keeping the dogs away from other dogs though, is a whole ‘nother kettle of bananas! :/
I try not to let my dogs meet the other dogs in reception while we wait for our turn, for a few reasons.
One – I don’t know if the other animals in the reception area are sick or injured, and whether or not the reason they are at the vet is contagious.
Two – I don’t know if they are properly socialised, or treated for ticks and fleas, and whilst I am getting pretty good at reading doggy body language, I would rather not risk illness or injury to my dog by letting them play willy-nilly. Not at the vet, at least.
Three – my Guide Dog puppies are in training, learning to be okay wth vet visits as well as learning to ignore other dogs.

In my experience, people with dogs who may be aggressive will usually wait outside until they are called in by the vet, but too many people waiting in the reception – who don’t know anything about my dog or why we may be there – will ignore my attempts to keep my dog’s attention on me, and bring their dog over to “say hello”!
They don’t know, and they don’t ask, if I’m there to get my dog treated for an illness, or something that their dog could catch, or just for regular inoculations.
I don’t understand it!

Please, for all our sakes, take a seat and keep your dog close.

You aren’t doing your dog- or mine- any favours by getting them all excited in the vet’s reception area, and you could be putting my dog- or yours- at risk.

6 thoughts on “Etiquette at the Vet

  1. It irritates me too. The thing is also that most dogs get pretty anxious at the vets, so to add to the stress by having some unknown dog come bouncing over doesn’t help. My little Jack Russell is old and she’s got some health issues, she gets terribly stressed at the vet and if another dog comes up to her she is inclined to growl and snap… I know this, I keep her leashed and on my lap, and I try to ignore everyone around us, but true as nuts, nearly every single time some person’s dog will come and harass her. It drives me mad!

    • This morning again! A woman with a dapple Dachsie on her lap!
      “Stay by mommy sweetie. No sweetie, stay here by mommy. Come sweetie, sit still now.”

  2. This drives me crazy!
    I’m one of those that has to stand outside when I’m with Kimo. However, with Kitara, I don’t like other dogs coming to her because she gets really scared… and her legs are so problematic anyway.
    When I was at the vet last week, someone came in with a dog to be checked in for an op… without a lead!! Kimo made it go crazy because he was howling so much… the owner could barely hold onto it.
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