Loud noises, suspicious smells and crowded spaces are just a few reasons why visiting the vet can be stressful for humans and their furry companions.
Many pet owners feel some level of stress when visiting the vet. A poorly designed waiting room can further amplify this. Plus, when humans are stressed, animals pick up on this, which raises their anxiety levels too.
Making patients’ entire experience at the vet as stress-free as possible will have numerous benefits for your clinic. Your patients will be happier, and far more likely to be happier to return to your practice. Since the patient experience starts with the waiting room, here are a few key factors to consider when designing a veterinary clinic waiting room that keeps both humans and their furry friends calm.
Make Check-In Easy
Your clients do not want to be lugging their pets to a reception desk, especially when there is a long queue of pets. Such close contact with other animals will likely be highly stimulating for some pets. This can lead to increased barking and anxiety among animals (and humans) in the waiting room.
Instead, consider using a mobile app for check-in. Alternatively, situate touchscreen kiosks in various locations throughout the waiting room. Designated separate cat and dog waiting areas also adds to a calm environment. In floor scales adjacent to the reception are convenient for check in weighing, and a leash hook point ensures pet security, enabling clients to have free hands.
Reception Counter Height
When pet owners need to visit the reception desk, try to make it as inviting as possible. Many vet receptions require a high counter. Consider designing a portion of the counter to have a low height. This helps clients better connect with staff, which can substantially improve their experience. This is especially pertinent if they’re experiencing stress due to their sick pet. It also acts as a convenient payment area.
Keep Animals Separate
To reduce animals’ stress, it’s best to keep cats and dogs separate. From a fit out perspective, dividing walls are a useful way to separate the space while maintaining an open feel.
Even strategic placement of furniture can successfully and stylishly separate the space. To optimise your waiting room for retail, you may choose to separate the space with mobile product shelves. If you’re starting your design from scratch or are renovating, installing separate entrances for dogs and cats is another option.
Aside from your layout, having ground rules in place can help keep dogs and cats at ease. This could be keeping all dogs on leash and keeping all cats and smaller animals in a travel cage before they enter treatment rooms.
With many different animals coming and going day in, day out, floors will need regular sanitising. It’s therefore best to opt for a heavy-duty, commercial, slip-resistant vinyl flooring, or an epoxy flooring product, for even greater durability.
Easy To Clean Furniture
While they don’t mean to, most of our pets manage to drop hair and dirt particles wherever they go. Therefore, furniture that is both stylish and functional must be selected. Opt for chairs that can be wiped down and cleaned easily, such as plastic chairs and or vinyl upholstery.
To keep anxiety levels down, opt for calming colours. These may include blues and greens. Alternatively, if you wanted a warmer colour scheme, opt for paler colours instead of striking shades.
Calming Air Freshers
Feliway and Comfort Zone are two popular air fresheners that release pheromones that help keep dogs and cats calm. Plus, there’s no need to worry about setting off a sneeze attack – it’s common for the scent to go unnoticed by humans.
Keep Treats On Hand
For a lot of pets, the way to their heart is through food. Keeping a good supply of treats on hand works as a good distraction before pets meet their vet.
Maintaining a waiting room that promotes a calming environment puts clients and their beloved pets at ease. Not only will this make treating the pet easier on the vet, it will encourage pet owners to return to your clinic. If you think your clinic could use an update, Dentifit is here to help. We employ full time design and fitout staff with veterinary specific knowledge. Our in-house experts have over 15+ years industry experience. Contact us today to get started on your veterinary clinic fit out.