As a pet sitter and pet taxi driver in the Toms River area, I spend time at different veterinary hospitals pretty frequently. Recently, I left an office after an hour and a half visit with a client’s pet and I had a splitting headache. I realized while sitting there that the smell of the hospital was making me ill.
That experience got me thinking about how differently hospitals maintain the cleanliness of their practices. Whether or not you realize it, as a pet parent you should be paying attention to the cleanliness of your veterinary office. How well or poorly maintained it is in the areas you visit should give you some insight as to how well or poorly other important areas are maintained – like the surgery suite!
The next time you’re at your veterinary office, take an inventory of what you see and smell.
The Waiting Room
The first area of any veterinary hospital you encounter is the waiting room and before the receptionist can even greet you, the first thing you may notice is whether a stench of stale dog or poop slaps you in the face or not! The waiting room shouldn’t have an unpleasant odor.
Once you check in with the receptionist and make your way to have a seat, you want to be sitting on a clean chair or bench. Take note before you sit – is there a puddle of pee a nervous pet may have accidentally left behind?
While your waiting, watch how to staff reacts to accidents their four legged visitors may leave. Do they promptly clean it up and wash the floor or do they ask YOU to clean it up and then not mop the area?
If there are any pets up for adoption in the waiting room, is their area clean? Of course, pets can be messy but if it looks like no one has attended to them in a while, then that could be a red flag.
The Exam Room
The next stop on your adventure is the exam room. Pay attention to the details there, too. Is there an odor? Are the counters and floor clean from previous pet hair, drool, blood, urine and stool? Do they appeared to have been wiped down? Is the garbage over flowing? Are items in the room seem like they are kept in an orderly manner or are they thrown around on the counter, haphazardly? Do the paint, molding and cabinets appear to be well maintained?
Again, pets can be messy but the hospital should already understand that and not look like they see 50 pets in one day and never clean up between appointments.
Treatment, Boarding & other Behind the Scenes Places
If you’re interested in seeing other areas of the hospital, you should ask if you can take a tour. The hospital may ask that you don’t bring your pet with you as you walk around for safety reasons, but they shouldn’t discourage you.
If you do go for a tour, look for the same cleanliness factors we’ve already discussed. There should not be an odor. Everything should be clean like counters, floors, cages, runs, and equipment.
Any outdoor areas should be equally maintained. There shouldn’t be a week worth of poop in the area where boarding dogs are walked, materials should have a designated area and not be just laying around, boarding pets food should be properly labeled and stored.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Who’s the cleanest of them all? In our experience, Ocean County Veterinary Hospital in Lakewood and it’s satellite hospitals, Fischer Veterinary Hospital in Toms River and New Prospect Veterinary Hospital in Jackson are the cleanest.
Their staff is very attentive to the cleanliness of each area of the hospital and they work tirelessly to ensure a pleasant experience for their 2 and 4 legged clients. You won’t walk into to an overwhelming stale dog stench at their facilities.
That’s why we’ve presented them with the Cleanest Veterinary Hospital Award! Congratulations to OCVH, FVH, & NPVH for all your hard work! It is certainly recognized by all the pet parents who trust you with their pets care! We applaud you for your cleanliness!
We met up with Dr. Peter Falk, one of the hospital’s partner doctors, to ask him how his team keeps the hospitals so clean. Watch the video below to find out what their magic is all about!
Photos of Ocean County Veterinary Hospital