When refurbishing or building brand new veterinary facilities, it pays to design with growth in…
No one likes taking their animals to the vet. It can be a deep source of stress for both parties, and when humans are anxious, their pets tend to follow suit. The environment where both of them wait can contribute significantly to their comfort and ability to calm down. Comfort the pet owners, and you will comfort their pets. We look at things vets can do to keep pets calm during their visit.
Create a smooth check-in
Waiting in a line while other pets and owners are anxious, overly excitable or totally panicked is an immediate assault on the nerves. Consider how you can smooth the check-in process so that owners can just focus on their pets and rest assured that they’re registered for the visit.
Touchscreen kiosks are one way to relieve pressure from the reception staff and let patients simply walk in, tap a screen and sit down calmly with their pet. An analogue option would be a sign-in sheet, which works to the same effect, with just one extra step for staff to go and forward to check who’s checked in.
Encourage happy staff
The people encountered in the veterinary clinic will have a big impact on the comfort of both the owner and the animal. Training staff to be polite and warm when they deal with owners and pets will help keep everyone calm. And investing in ways to keep humans and pets calm will remove some of the common pressures that staff have to deal with.
Freeing up staff lets them dedicate more time to pets and their parents, creating an entire cycle of service that improves the sense of comfort and calm for pets and their owners. This also includes smart front and back-office design and furniture to make it easy for staff to do their job, access files and items needed with minimal fuss.
Use music to minimise tension
Music has calming effects on humans and animals alike, making it a simple but effective method for creating a calm waiting environment. Opt against the radio and instead connect your system to a Spotify classical music playlist or something designed for wellness spas to lull your pet parents into a state of serenity.
Add TV entertainment
Humans are easy to distract, and most eyes glue to a TV when it’s within their periphery. Calming humans can often require focussing their attention elsewhere. Try setting up TV screens in the waiting room and have shows on with subtitles — you don’t want audio mixing with your tranquil music. The subtitles come with the added bonus of extra attention required from the viewer.
With owners focusing on the TV, their demeanour will change and calm the pets. Both get benefits from the calming music, and the distracted owner calms down the finicky pet.
Calm the pets to calm the owners
Veterinary practices are a big echo chamber where the mood of a pet, human or staff member can flow onto the rest of the people in the room. Naturally, calming humans means calming pets. If the animals seem fine, the humans will take note.
On a small scale, you can look into pheromone air fresheners for cats, and dogs can help to make them feel calm. You could have some toys to keep them happy and playful. Or you can consider the design of your waiting room and bring in more bright but calming colours and chairs made to fit both the pet and their owner. No pets are calmer than when lying in the lap of their loved ones.
It’s not often people talk about a peaceful visit to the vet. Calm clinics quickly get a good reputation, and word of mouth is vital in the pet care space.
Keep pets calm
For furniture to enhance the efficiency of your clinic, David Bailey Furniture Systems has the expertise and craftsmanship to custom make the solutions you need. Contact us today.
At David Bailey Furniture Systems, we supply and install fitted veterinary furniture from our extensive range. We manufacture a wide range of furniture for veterinary practices, including reception desks, storage furniture, worktops and mobile furniture. See our veterinary furniture range here.
Read a case study about a furniture contract we carried out for The Ralph Veterinary Centre in Buckinghamshire, who completely renovated an office and warehouse building to a state-of-the-art veterinary centre, complete with operating theatres, surgeries and consulting rooms.