5 ways to wow pet owners (and pets)

April 5, 2016

You don't have to redesign your clinic from scratch to build in these features. Nothing says "Best. Hospital. Ever." like coffee and potty stations. (You KNOW it's true.)

A pet potty

“What does a dog have to do to get a break around here?” The New Hope Animal Hospital team in Rogers, Arkansas built in this perfect spot for excited and car-confined pets to do their business before entering the hospital, says veterinary architect Dan Chapel. And which of you doesn't want to cut back on accidents inside? “If they use it, it'll prevent extra cleanups and save the embarrassment of the clients,” Chapel says. “If they don't use it, at least clients know you provided it for their convenience.” (Photo courtesy of Dan Chapel)



Soap and sparkle

It is true that clients sometimes have unavoidable bodily needs. So do 2-year-olds. Which is even tougher. So it's also important to offer them a bathroom. It's a big deal that it be stocked with paper towels, soap AND toilet paper. And although we know clients often stink at cleaning up after themselves, ideally your bathroom will display a level of cleanliness that makes a client feel reasonably certain you understand what “sterile environment” means. Yep. Got it. Completely unreasonable. (Photo by Geoff Nesossi, Nesossi Studios)



Cuppa joe (or even organic green tea)

Palm Beach Veterinary Specialists has a particularly spacious lobby, so they really blew out this coffee station with special seating, fresh brew, baked goods and even WiFi provided. But almost any practice can find a corner for a coffee machine, and nothing says “thanks for coming by” like a nice hot cup of java. (Photo courtesy of CJ Walker | CJ Walker Photographer Inc.)



Playstation 4 (kids, that is)

Even some coloring books in a corner can help send the message that you understand the challenges of managing both a pet and a child who are likely suffering a disruption in their normal routine by making a visit to your practice. At Winslow Animal Hospital in Sicklerville, New Jersey, they developed the idea a bit more, offering a children's play area in the waiting room. (Photo by Stavra Kalina, Stavra Kalina Photography) 



Zen nooks

Offering pets (and pet owners) a chance to separate themselves from other pets (and pet owners) who might cause them undue stress is one thing you can do to get visits started right. And that doesn't necessarily mean you need separate cat and dog waiting areas. At Cleveland Park Animal Hospital in Greenville, South Carolina, the team uses small nooks to offer comfortable seating and keep sight lines to a minimum. (Photo by Russell Lowery, Commercial Imaging)