Vet Assistants and Nervous Pet Owners: What You Need to Know

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As a Veterinary Assistant, you get the joy of working with animals all day. But with the perks of dog kisses and kitten cuddles during routine visits comes the responsibility of calming nervous pet owners when their four-legged family members are under the weather.

Here are some tips that can help you put worried owners at ease:

  • Suggest an Early Arrival

If you have the sense that one of your practice’s pet owners is going to be especially nervous about an appointment, suggest that the owner and their pet arrive early. Being late to an appointment can increase anxiety. Being early will provide owners with extra time to prepare and soothe their pet before the appointment begins. It will also give you plenty of time to offer some reassurance of your own.

  • Be Professional

Have you ever noticed that you feel more confident in others when they seem to be confident in themselves? As the first person a pet owner may see at the Vet’s office, it’s up to you to act sure and professional. Your attitude can go a long way to help owners feel more comfortable and assured that their pets are in good hands.

  • Be Empathetic

Just as visits to the Vet are stressful for owners, they can also be pretty stressful for pets. If you have a reassured and relaxed attitude to help make pets more comfortable, it will also help calm nervous owners. It’s also important to let them know that the practice will provide their pets with the best care possible and that their pet’s comfort is your top priority. And if it’s a serious diagnosis, be empathetic to what the owners are going through. Comfort them the best you can when they need it the most.

  • Explain Calming Medications

If a pet is particularly anxious, the Veterinarian may prescribe a mild sedative to calm them. Make sure to encourage owners to ask the Vet about how these medications work and what they can expect. There are many different options with varying side effects, and the Vet will be able to help owners decide which, if any, is right for their pet.

  • Communicate Clearly

As a Veterinary Assistant, you may need to help explain the Veterinarian’s diagnosis of the health problems their pet may have and the recommendations for treatment. Because every animal is different, they won’t all have the same reactions. It’s your job to reiterate the Vet’s instructions and explain the possible outcomes, while providing tips on how owners can make their pets more comfortable. You also need to clearly communicate so pet owners understand what they need to do once they leave their appointment. Explain the Veterinarian’s instructions as clearly as possible and also ask questions of the pet owners to make sure they understood.

  • Follow Up

Be sure to call the owner to check on the pet after a procedure. This will let them know that you care and will make the next appointment even easier.

If you love animals, a Veterinary Assistant career might be a good path for you. At Charter College, you can complete the Veterinary Assistant program in as little as 40 weeks in Vancouver, WA and Oxnard, CA. Fill out the form to learn more now.