Tips for creating a calm environment in your vet waiting room
The waiting room at the vets can be an anxious and stressful place for owners and pets alike, which can make your job more difficult, so it’s essential that these areas are designed to be as calming and comfortable as possible. Animals can be highly sensitive to their owners’ moods, so keeping pet parents as calm as possible after having a potentially stressful journey to the surgery is likely to make your job a little easier. Here are some top tips for creating a tranquil environment in this crucial area of your practice.
1. Divide the space
Try to make it easy for pets to be separate from each other, so animals that are anxious or distressed have some space. This can be done by arranging groups of seating around the waiting area or facing chairs in back to back groups rather than rows, or around the perimeter of the room. A fish tank or low bookshelves can also be useful dividers in a seating area that doesn’t obscure peoples’ views. Don’t forget to provide options for people to secure pet leashes and leads if they need to as well, such and clips and hooks throughout the space.
2. Play music
Music can have a calming effect not only on people, but their pets too. Having gentle music on in the background that isn’t too loud can help promote a more relaxed environment in the waiting room. Dogs in particular respond well to reggae and soft rock music, so if your practice welcomes a lot of anxious canines then that may guide your playlist choices! Walking into a silent space before a potentially nervous wait can be unpleasant, so use music to create a more welcoming atmosphere that is much less intimidating.
3. Treats and toys
4. Keeping pet parents happy
Taking their beloved pet to the vet is not often the happiest occasion, so making the visit easier on pet owners is very important. Provide distractions in the form of magazines and leaflets, and it’s a good idea to have charge points available for phones and laptops in case they have to do any work or have a long wait for a last-minute appointment. TV screens can also be a welcome distraction. This is also a great way of conveying information, so consider having a slideshow playing with details on how the appointment system works, some customer testimonials and a little bit about you and your credentials to help put their minds at ease and feel reassured. It’s also a good way to free up your reception staff’s time as they will get fewer questions.