Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Top 10 Things NOT to Do at the Vet's Office

Me and my co-workers
I realize that most of my readers are more than likely very well behaved at the vet's office. And no, I am not talking about my anipals. I am talking about my fellow humans! There are a handful of people out there that seemingly do not know proper veterinary office visit etiquette. I have worked in veterinary hospitals for a total of five years and have had some interesting, disturbing, and outrageous interactions with clients to say the least. I have met many clients over the years who make the whole experience wonderful, but there is that few percent of people who just make you want to rip your hair out sometimes. Just follow my list of things NOT to do at the vet's office and you'll be one of your veterinarian staff's favorite clients in no time!

 1. Refrain From Exposing Yourself

Veterinary staff do care about their client's well being, don't get me wrong. But showing off your bug bite marks in explicit areas is probably not something they really want to see. A verbal explanation of what the bites look like will suffice.

2. Don't Ask the Staff to Smell Your Finger

Smells can be an important part of diagnosing conditions in all types of animals. I used to be the official sniffer for the main vet I assisted, as she had lost her sense of smell. My heightened sense of smell during pregnancy made this an exciting task, to say the least. Technicians are usually pretty willing to use their sense of smell on animals in situations when necessary, and at other times have no choice. However, they probably do not want to smell your finger after you've just cleaned your dog's infected ear... they would much rather sniff the actual source.

3. Remember That You're at Your Pet's Doctor Office, Not Your Own

Again, the staff at your vet's office do care about their clients. They are there to help your pets, and are not people doctors. If you have a medical issue, you should talk to your doctor about advice. There are some disease that can be passed back and forth between human and animal, yes. It's highly unlikely however that you gave your dog a yeast infection. Just because your skin smells like parmesan cheese doesn't necessarily mean that you have a yeast infection on it...

4. Don't Hit on the Technician 

Just because the technician asks for your phone number so that the doctor can call you back with test results does not mean that you should hit on them. They are just doing their job. 

5. Hold Your Dog Still For a Temperature

Taking a temperature on a cat or dog can prove to be quite a difficult task sometimes. It usually requires a little bit of teamwork. If you see the technician chasing your dog's butt around with a thermometer across the exam room floor, offer a little help! Usually this just requires that you hold your dog's head still for a few seconds.

6. Please Tell the Staff If Your Pet Bites

A trained technician can read most animal's body language pretty well. A pet's mom or dad can read their own pet's body language even better. Technicians also understand that pets act differently at the vet's office. If you think or know that your pet is going to try to bite or scratch, speak up!

7. Keep Dirty Comments to Yourself

When the technician, that you just met, takes your dog's temperature and then collects a fecal sample manually, don't exclaim to your dog that they have a fetish. I'll leave it at that.

8. Don't Pulverize the Staff With Poop

Checking a fecal sample every once in a while is important to your pet's health. However, the staff at the vet clinic do not need the entire pile of runny stool that your 80 pound dog produced this morning presented in a plastic grocery bag on the receptionist's counter. 1-3 grams of stool is typically enough for a stool sample.

Photo credit: shouldbecleaning / Foter / CC BY 

9. If the Vet Prescibes Medicine, Give It

Some clients return repeatedly because their pet isn't recovering from a problem. Sometimes, the client admits that they haven't given their pet any of the medicine. Comply with your vet's instructions! It may save you from having to visit the animal clinic so much. It will probably also save you a little bit of money... 

10. Guys, Help a Girl Out

Most veterinary staff employees happen to be women. If you see the technician struggling to lift your dog that weighs as much as they do, maybe you could stand up from your comfy seat and lend a hand. Not saying that women aren't strong - of course we are! But guys, it doesn't look so good on your part when you just sit there and watch.


  1. Oh my dog...I can't believe that humans actually say and do those things!! :-/ Weirdos and can you just saw, "ewwww"?! I feel bad that you've had to deal with humans like that!

    1. Its all in good fun Goosey. Gives me something to laugh about later on!

  2. We can well imagine you have seen it all. We are all very well behaved maybe it is the treats that help. Have a terrific Tuesday.
    Best wishes Molly

  3. Like Molly, We bet you have seen it all. We are all very well behaved at the vets..lol xx00xx

    Mollie and Alfie

  4. Ok, some of those, I would say, "Isn't that just common sense, people?" Others? I can only say EWWWWW! So sorry you had to deal with that.

  5. Excellent advice, all the way around. Get it together, people!! Don't act like an animal at the vet. Leave that up to the pets!

  6. We are not all well behaved at the vets. Java is known as Kitty Jekyl/Tigress Hyde. But our humans try to be. They know that if we are sick, it's not the vet's or the vet tech's fault; you are trying to help.

    1. That's a cute nickname lol. Thanks for visiting!

  7. well some people are idiots!this is me being polite...hehe,Speedy's mum

  8. This is very good advice Ann. Mom says she totally agrees! Especially about the giving medicine part!

  9. whew! Thank goodness I seem to be the model of proper "pet-i-quette!"

    Hey...wanna smell my finger? MOL!!!

  10. Hello! Thank you for doing the bird post and we are so sorry we haven't been on-line for a while. We'll be sure to pass the info along to our cousin. We are having blogging problems and hope that our account has not been hacked :/

  11. VERY good advice - and we shudder to think about what some humans will do...!

  12. Wow, had no idea anyone would do any of those things!!

  13. OMC! Are these taken from real situations that happened?
    Tsk tsk tsk


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