Going into veterinary practice is a wonderful decision, but you want to make sure that you consider all of your patients when you are designing your clinic. For example, while you may think that you will get a lot of puppies and kittens, you will also get older dogs and cats. Here are three tips for ensuring your clinic is suitable for senior animals:
1. Make an Exterior Entrance
As pets get older, they become more immobile. While this doesn't mean that they can't walk at all, it simply means that they're not nearly as active and that it isn't as easy for them to walk as it once was. With that being said, you want to make it as easy on them as possible to get from their vehicle to the exam room. One of the best ways to do this is to make an exterior entrance directly to the exam room. This will drastically reduce the distance the senior pet has to travel. Any paperwork that needs to be filled out by the owner can be brought directly to the exam room instead of being done at the check-in desk in the waiting room.
2. Create a Separate Waiting Room
Senior cats and dogs aren't able to handle the same stimulation as they were when they were puppies and even young adult animals. While it is impossible to keep your waiting room calm and quiet, it is possible to figure out an alternative. You have a couple of options. If you would like, you can maintain one waiting room and having caging for senior pets that would shield them a bit from livelier and louder pets. Or, if your space allows it, you could create a completely separate waiting room for senior pets. They would be able to wait to go back to the exam room with other like-minded pets and not have to worry about rowdy younger animals.
3. Invest in Lift Tables
Many senior pets will have arthritis and ache, so they won't want to be lifted up and down a lot. Therefore, it isn't a good idea to lift them high up onto your traditional exam table. This is why it is important to invest in lift tables. Now, it isn't necessary to have these in all of your exam rooms, but you should have them in a few rooms that you can dedicate to your senior patients. If you are unable to get a senior pet to one of those rooms or you have been unable to invest in a lift table, you can always get close to the floor to perform your patient's exam.
Places like Animal Clinic Of Billings can help with other pet care resources.