Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.
Your pet isn’t giving you a hard time; your pet IS HAVING a hard time
March 2, 2020
One of my colleagues once spoke a phrase that would forever change my perspective: “your pet isn’t giving you a hard time; your pet is having a hard time”.
I think this rings particularly true when most pets are in a veterinary setting. So often we see hissing cats and barking dogs being scolded by their embarrassed owners for not behaving when coming in for a visit. No one wants to have the “bad” dog or the “mean” cat – but all we see is that your dog or cat is scared. And reasonably so! You and I know this vet visit is for the greater good – but they don’t. We are strangers. We poke and prod at the places that hurt. We often don’t listen to the signals they are giving us that they are painful or scared and want us to stop because we have to examine them thoroughly. What we are doing can be scary, despite all of our best efforts to avoid it.
So what can you do to help your pet when they’re at the vet?
1. Keep cat carriers up off the floor and keep them covered with a towel. Bonus points if you cover the carrier in a towel sprayed with Feliway! 2. If your dog is fearful of other dogs, try to sit away from other pets, or alert our front staff that you will be walking outside until your appointment begins. 3. Are you worried about an altercation between your dog and another dog in the waiting area? Come in and let us know. We have other options and strategies for getting your dog in and out safely. 4. Would you feel more comfortable being put immediately into a room on arrival? We can put an alert on your file and you can call in advance to ensure you and your scared pup are never left waiting in a situation that makes you feel unsafe. 5. Avoid showing up too far in advance of your appointment if your pet is fearful. Long wait times can increase anxiety and create a “build-up” effect.
Coming to the vet can be an unpleasant experience, but we can all work together to make it easier on everyone. Just ask if you feel your pet needs special accommodations.
Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.
The following policies were updated Monday, June 1, 2020:
1. We are currently operating a "closed waiting room" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 902.434.0700. We will confirm your information and a receptionist will come out to bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. If you have an iPhone, we have set up our clinic iPad for you to FaceTime with the vet during the exam or we have the capability of doing Skype for video-calling during the exam as well. If you do not have either of these as options, once the examination is finished, the veterinarian will call to discuss our recommended treatment plan over the phone while you remain outside. A staff member will then return to your vehicle with your pet and bring any items to go home with you. Please ensure your pet has a properly fitted collar or is in a secure carrier. Please remove any additional clothing or blankets prior to our staff handling our patients to minimize risk to our team. We will either ring you through at your vehicle with our portable debit/credit machine or we accept credit card payments over the phone. We are not taking cash at this time.
2. We are still OPEN but are working with limited staff and trying to limit human exposure, including staff-to-staff, as much as possible with deep disinfecting occurring after we close for the day. Monday, Thursday: 7:15 am - 9:00 pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 7:15 am - 8:00 pm Saturday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm Sunday: CLOSED
3. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone or via our portable debit/credit machine at your vehicle. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home or order and pay via the website and pick up at the clinic. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.
4. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.
5. Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus. You may see our team members wearing additional protective gear when interacting with our clients and patients.
Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.
- Your dedicated team at Dartmouth Veterinary Hospital