DIY: Seven service stations for your veterinary practice


From teensy tweaks to projects for the home improvement weekend warrior, these tricks will boost your clients' experience at your practice.

1. Flag your doors.

Bigger Road Veterinary Center in Springboro, Ohio.Need a simple signal to show whether an exam room is occupied? Bigger Road Veterinary Center in Springboro, Ohio, added mailboxes to their exam room doors. Then simply raise the red flag to show the room's occupied.

2. Light it up!

Photo courtesy of Lori Woods, MBA.If you're looking for a louder signal, you can use night lights to signal a client's waiting-and never forget a client in the exam room again. "I took a power strip and plugged in four night lights. I labeled each night light and have the receptionist turn on the light when someone is in the room. The technician turns off the light when the client has left the room," says practice manager Lori Woods, MBA.



3. Turn a bench into a DIY cat trap.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Apryl Steele, Tender Touch Animal Hospital, AAFP Cat Friendly Practice, Gold level practice, Denver, Colorado.

The best part: Cats love it! With a few simple modifications, you can create this comfortable cat retreat that's built into a bench in the exam room. Check out the instructions here:

4. Create a relaxation station with a pheromone station at your front desk.

Bigger Road Veterinary Center in Springboro, Ohio.

See Chris Reilly, a customer service representative at Bigger Road Veterinary Center in Springboro, Ohio, demonstrate how she uses a feline pheromone station to greet and calm cat patients (and clients!) who visit their veterinary practice at

5. An IKEA hack: Create a kitty parking area.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Paige Garnett.

IKEA's article number 103.057.41 is an eight-compartment Kallax shelving unit, available in eight colors, for $90. "It's not only just the right height to keep cats above the line of vision of most dogs, but it's very easy to clean and has cubbies that hold IKEA boxes (also very reasonably priced) where you can store children's toys and books, along with clean towels to cover the cat carriers," says Dr. Paige Garnett of Care Animal Hospital, an AAFP Gold Level Cat Friendly Practice in Arvada, Colorado. Check out the full instructions here:


6. Add a cat tree to your exam room.

Tom, the clinic's house cat, takes a stroll on the cat climber. Photo courtesy of Cary Street Veterinary Hospital in Richmond, Virginia.Cats are litter-ally climbing the walls at Cary Street Veterinary Hospital in Richmond, Virginia. That's because the veterinary team added an over-the-door cat tree in their feline exam room. Purr-haps you're worried about the climber's over-the-door location. To avoid cat-astrophes, they mounted the climber on the exam door that leads into the lobby-not the door to the treatment area, where the veterinary team enters and exits. This way kitties enjoy their catwalks undisturbed.  

7. Got two doors? Label one entrance cat-only.

Bigger Road Veterinary Clinic in Kettering, Ohio.Kitties will appreciate their exclusive dog-free entrance, and cat owners will enjoy the opportunity to enter without scooting past the overly friendly Lab who wants to give their kitties kisses through the carrier door.


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