Making a decision on a new veterinarian* or groomer are as important if not more so than finding a doctor or hair stylist for ourselves. We have greater fears for our dogs because they can’t voice their opinions or tell us the experience they had. Just as our dogs do we can rely on our senses to help us make a good or bad first impression. Here’s a few things to keep in mind when entering any grooming salon or veterinary office:
1. What do you smell? Does it smell clean? or do you smell urine, dust, or mold?
2. What do you see? Are the floors and windows clean? Are the countertops wiped down? Is it messy with paperwork or clutter? Are the displays or light fixtures dirty?
3. What do you feel? Is there dirt, dog hair or debris under your feet as you walk? Do surfaces feel dirty or grimy?
4. What do you hear? Are there loud employees? Inappropriate music or discussions?
After your initial reactions to your surroundings feel free to ask if there is a tour or a walk through you can do. Most vets, groomers and kennels will be glad to oblige. Of course there may be ‘off limits’ areas like surgery rooms, quarantine rooms, storage etc. that are understandable. If they do not offer a tour it doesn’t mean they have something to hide and doesn’t mean they aren’t a wonderful facility. Just like you have a right to ask remember, they have the right to say no.
Your biggest judgments should be in the first few minutes you walk in, what your experiences were. After the sights and smells, how is the staff? Did they ask you lots of questions? Did they seem interested in your concerns? Remember too, that sometimes a busy atmosphere can be misinterpreted as rudeness. If you are in during a busy time or during a holiday a little extra patience is needed on both ends.
Trusting your judgment on these experiences is always a good rule to follow. Even if the facility passes all these ‘tests’ if you are uncomfortable with the treatment of your pet or feel like their service is not in your pets best interest say something as it happens during that visit. If the facility is not willing to acknowledge and correct a problem, it may be time to look elsewhere.
* Green Dog recommends Mc Monigle Veterinary clinic located in Kent, Wa. Pamphlets are available at our grooming salon as well as their office.