At Wheaton Animal Hospital, we do our best to make our waiting area as peaceful and hospitable as possible. Even with all of our efforts, the fact is that coming to see the veterinarian is an extremely stressful event for many pets, and sitting in a lobby packed with strange people and animals can compound feelings of fear and anxiety.

Practicing good veterinary hospital lobby etiquette will go a long way toward keeping the atmosphere relaxed and is essential for the safety and well being of everyone present.

Veterinary Hospital Lobby Etiquette

Keep these tips from The Pet Experts in mind when it comes to keeping the peace and reducing stress


  • Keep your dog leashed at all times – Dogs should be leashed and kept next to their owners at all times.
  • Bring your cat in a carrier – Regardless of how much Fluffy hates her carrier, it is the safest and least stressful way to transport her to and from our hospital.
  • Pay attention – The atmosphere in a veterinary hospital lobby is ever-changing depending on the people, animals, and situations present. Keeping an eye on your surroundings and your pet is important when it comes to avoiding tricky or dangerous situations.
  • Start early – Desensitizing your pet to the car, the carrier, or working on obedience commands are all extremely useful tools for making the experience less stressful overall. The Pet Experts are happy to help you come up with a plan!


  • Use a retractable leash – Retractable leashes have no place in a lobby as they can easily wrap around chairs, tables, and people, and don’t provide enough control for close quarters.
  • Allow your pet to investigate – The lobby is not the time for a doggy meet and greet with other pets, regardless of how friendly your pet and the other animal may be. Additionally, make sure your dog doesn’t investigate small dogs or cats in carriers, as this can be extremely frightening to the other pet.
  • Leave your pet unattended – This one probably goes without saying, but if you have to leave the waiting room for any reason always bring your pet with you.
  • Worry – Pets react to our emotions, and if you’re stressed about being in the lobby with your pet they are going to respond. Relax, breathe, and offer reassuring words to your pet.

Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at Wheaton Animal Hospital with any further questions you have about veterinary hospital lobby etiquette.