To your pet, the waiting room of a veterinary clinic can be an absolute assault on the senses.

  • An array of new smells.
  • Other animals.
  • Crowds.
  • Bright lights.
  • New sounds.

Chances are your pet is already on high alert with this visit to the vet and the change to their routine.

Add the above factors in and you have a recipe for an anxious pet.

So how can you make your waiting area one that instils a sense of calm and tranquillity?

The waiting room priority list

The safety of your clients (owners and pets) should always be your first priority.

Consider the materials that make up your waiting room area. Can they be easily cleaned and can withstand harsh cleaning agents? Can it be scratched? (which is highly likely). Are they durable with germ resistance?

As you know from working with animals, accidents are a given. Make sure your flooring is easily cleaned and can withstand regular disinfectants. Also ensure your flooring is a reliable, non-slip option. Non-porous vinyl is a great option as it does not absorb liquids or odours.

Is outdoors an option?

We live in the great outdoors so chances are, many of your clients spend their days outdoors. Is an outdoor waiting area an option for you? Think about fencing off a yard that your clients can wait in, where their pets can explore, sniff and avoid harsh indoor environments. If this is not an option, you can look at ways to soften your internal waiting room.

Separate where possible

If you have the space, creating different waiting rooms for cats and dogs is an ideal way to minimise potential conflict.

Is there a separate, small alcove available for cat owners?

Can you erect some screening to separate seating areas to avoid eye contact between the two?

There are also some calming pheromones that can be used to calm distressed pets which you can look into using. Do not confuse these with essential oil diffusers though as they are very different!

Create a calm vibe

Pets feed off their owners so work towards creating a serene and welcoming reception so your owners feel calm as they enter. Stick to neutral tones and warm lighting. Decorate your walls with pictures of your clients and their happy faces.

Install a water station (for both pets and owners – separate of course) and always have a jar of treats on hand.

Owners can be juggling distressed pets, children, their wallets, snacks, water and everything in between. Install some handy leash clips at the front desk so they can easily secure their pet and keep use of their hands.

It’s often the small things that make a big difference!

Only sell what you recommend

If you are retailing products, only stock the products you would recommend to your clients.

Keep them in a visible place so they can be easily accessed by your clients.

Train your staff on all products so they can recommend with full authority and trust in their on advice.

At the end of the day, you want your clients to feel safe and welcome in your clinic – and it all starts with the moment they step in the door.

So make that first impression one that counts.

If you’d like to chat to us about your veterinary clinic operations and team, give our team a call. We are experts in assisting veterinarians purchase, sell and manage their clinics across Australia.