Second Chance: Proper Vet Etiquette

Second Chance: Proper Vet Etiquette

Have you hugged your veterinarian lately?

Can you imagine a world without them?

We sure can’t here at Second Chance Humane Society… So to honor all those veterinarians who keep pets like me healthy, I am asking you reflect on your personal veterinarian visit etiquette.



Let’s start with a listing of the most annoying things pet owners do on their veterinarian office visits:

1. Cell Phone Distraction During Discussions
Need I say more? Can you think of anything more annoying or disrespectful than answering a phone call while your vet is delivering a state-of-your-pet’s-health address? Dude, don’t be rude.

2. Bring The Kids
I know that love is blind to what a distraction they can be, not to mention that they are an unnecessary liability in a veterinary environment, but it is hard enough to keep pets safe in a vet office — much less kids. So unless your children are old enough and/or chill enough to calmly hang out in a vet setting, they should stay home. (Emergency situations excluded of course…)

3. Let Their Dogs Run Amok
The vet off ice is not the dog park. And, for the record, retractable leads should remain in the shortest, read locked, position for the duration of your visit.

4. Carry the Cat
Really? I am trying not to be judgie here but beyond the obvious reasons for not doing this – consider that cats are more comfortable in uncertain environments when they’re enclosed in a carrier.

5. Deny, Deny, Deny
So you effectively employ your vet to be your expert and then put up roadblock after roadblock: No, my pet is not fat. No, my pet’s teeth are not rotting. No, he’s too old for surgery. No, her claws are not too long. Now I can understand why you might (and should!) question your veterinarian about health care issues that are important to you, but please stay open-minded during those conversations.

6. Refuse to Pay
Unfortunately it happens more often than you’d think. Pet owners agree to procedures and later refuse to pay. Making claims about misunderstanding the payment policy, even though there’s a sign in almost every veterinary hospital in the United States that explains payment is expected when services are rendered. Imagine what we would do if we didn’t have veterinarians…

7. Don’t Follow Through
There’s no shame in admitting that you can’t medicate your difficult cat or trim your unruly dog’s toenails. Veterinarians are pet owners, too. But there is a difference between can’t, don’t, and won’t. By being honest you can discuss alternatives rather than failing to follow through with aftercare.

There you have it. Veterinarians are not perfect, but they have your pet’s best interests at heart and love to feel apprecicated…

By the way, my name is Frankie and I am a one-year-old shepherd mix just looking for love. I like to play hard with my dog friends here at Second Chance. And in case you haven’t noticed, I say it like it is, so get your butt over here and adopt me…



Or if you are into cats I would recommend George a super nice and chill feline whose person was too ill to continue caring for him any longer. He is only about 1.5 years old and gets along great with other cats and dogs.

Editor’s note: It’s no secret. The Telluride region is dog heaven. Well, pet heaven. Unless you are one of our furry friends who gets caught in the maw of neglect and abuse. Then heaven is on hold until Second Chance Humane Society comes to the rescue. Second Chance is the region’s nonprofit dedicated to saving animals’ lives and promoting responsible pet parenting and human-animal bond. In her weekly blog, executive director Kelly Goodin profiles at least one, generally two of the many animals now living at the no-kill shelter, Angel Ridge Shelter, a dog and a cat, hoping to find them loving permanent homes. The column is sponsored by Ted Hoff of Cottonwood Ranch & Kennel, who from time to time exercises his skills as a dog whisperer, partnering with Kelly and her staff to help train a particularly challenging animal.

Ted Hoff & Mae

Ted Hoff &  Magnificent Mae

By the by, there is no better place to park your pup or get your pup (or adult dog) trained than Cottonwood whenever you head out of town (for locals) or are heading to town and staying somewhere that does not allow pets. Consider joining Ted’s Very Important Dog (VID) Club for added benies. (Details on Ted’s website.)

Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shop are both located in Ridgway, but service San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other Programs. View the shelter pets and services online:

Vetting the Vet: Dr. Michelle Dally, DVM, J.D. is Medical Director of Second Chance Humane Society. She also has a private practice, Dally Veterinary Medicine, 333 S. Elizabeth Street, Ridgway, Colorado. Her service area is  San Miguel Mesas, Placerville, Ridgway, Ouray, and Montrose. For more on Dr. Dally, go here.


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