Puppy and veterinarian

While you probably don’t spend your days wondering if your veterinarian is happy, his or her good mood might just be a reflection of your dedication to animal health. And making your vet happy, by demonstrating your devotion to your pet, might just add the right amount of sunshine to doc’s day.

After all, vets are people too. We respond to the same social cues and harbor the same fundamental drives you do. A veterinarian’s job may seem all snow cones and bunny rabbits to you, but we have bad days too. Compassion fatigue is a very real risk for people like us.

And that’s where you come in. When the relationship between medical professionals, caregivers and patients is happier, everyone wins — pets, especially.

Show Your Vet the Love

With that in mind, here are some things you can do or say to amp up your veterinarian’s happiness quotient (and that of his or her staff, who are every bit as worthy):

1. Tell us you consider your pet a member of the family. Knowing you treat your pets like we do can make the difference between a good day and a bad one. Really!

2. Acknowledge your belief in us. We don’t take your trust lightly. Please know that we always have your pet’s best interest at heart, and if you have any concerns, speak with us honestly.

3. Bring your [well-behaved and attentive] children. We’re happy to help teach them how best to take care of your pets, too.

4. Tell your friends about us. If we treat your pets right, it’s extra-sweet that you’d be willing to share that information with your friends, family and community at large. Writing positive online reviews, for instance, says a lot about your faith in us. And that gives us the warm fuzzies.

5. Ask what more you can do to manage your pet’s particular condition. Should you read something? Watch something? Try another approach? Consider an experimental treatment or complementary therapy? Pet owners who ask are typically lavished with lots of information.

6. Pay us simple courtesies. Arriving on time, calling when you’re going to be late, keeping your appointments and turning your cell phone off during your visit may seem fundamental but these civilities aren’t uniformly observed. Your attention to these things makes you a hero in your veterinarian’s eyes.

7. Ask us why we became veterinarians. For some of us, this can really soften us up when we’re having a tough day. Some of us love talking about ourselves — especially when it recalls our mission so effectively. It’s like asking a happy couple how they met. How better to rekindle the flame than to stir the fire a bit?

8. Bring in a puppy or kitten. Or better yet, adopt one of our many foster pets. Who doesn’t love puppies and kittens? The spell of any bad day can be broken whenever babies enter our midst, which probably explains why many veterinary hospitals foster needy puppies and kittens at all times. Yes indeed! Nothing shows us you love us like taking one of our many “freebies” home with you.

Go ahead, make our day. It doesn’t take a box of store-bought doughnuts or a batch of homemade cookies to impress us. You just have to show you care about your pets and what we do for them. Easy, right?

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