Bringing my dog to the vet’s during the corona crisis

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Written by Laure-Anne Viselé-Jonkman, zoologist and dog behaviourist

Although our pets can’t get infected by the novel corona virus, at least at the time of writing (read this article to stay up to date with the latest developments), veterinary personnel don’t have it easy at the moment.

It is not a direct contact profession, but it is an ‘indirect contact profession’: they still have to come in contact with potentially infected ‘surfaces’ (your pet’s fur) and they still work with the public, as a supermarket cashier (considered a high-risk job right now). What makes it even more stressful for them? They can’t just walk away: our pets’ lives depend on their ability to keep working.

How do I make my vet’s life easier?

  1. Telefone consult: They might suggest a phone consultation for your pet’s problem. I can imagine you would prefer an in-person consultation but do trust them. If they suggest it, it means that the quality of their treatment advice won’t suffer. Besides, pet insurance companies are starting to reimburse phone consultations too, at least temporarily.  
  2. Call ahead: Try not to go straight to the clinic: call first. Especially to get a repeat prescription. This way, they can avoid the waiting room being full to the brim. 
  3. Follow the staff’s instructions: It could be, for example, that the veterinary nurse holds your pet during a procedure so that you don’t come within a 1.5 meter distance of the veterinarian. We understand this might be more stressful for you and your pet, so be prepared for this possibility. 
  4. Not a family trip: Do not all go to the clinic. Keep it to 1 handler per pet is enough.  
  5. Paying by bank card: Do not pay cash.  
  6. Postpone non-urgent interventions: Ask your vet if you can safely postpone your pet’s vaccinations or elective surgery.  
  7. Keep distance: If you really must go to the vet’s, then keep your distance to personnel and other clients. Ensure your pet also keeps his distance to other pets.  

If we all show a little bit of understanding and cooperation, our vets might be able to keep treating our pets throughout this crisis. It is up to us to allow them to keep doing their job safely.  

Note to vets and vet nurses

If you want to use this file to print it out in your practice, that is totally OK. You don’t need to ask for our permission. 

More reading

Do you want to read more about dogs and corona? Click here: we constantly update this article to keep you informed of the latest regulatory and scientific developments with dogs and the corona virus. We also give you advice on how to manage your dog in these difficult times.  

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