We paired tips on how to make practices more suitable for senior dogs and cats from veterinary hospital design expert Heather Lewis, AIA, NCARB, with some quirky pets to make her message more meme-orable.
Make an entrance
Senior pets may not be very mobile, so make it as easy as possible for them to get to the exam room. Exam rooms with doors to the outside can significantly cut down on the distance older pets have to travel.
Don’t let one slip
Senior pets have less traction, so at the very least, put down mats that help them get a grip.
Senior dogs and cats lose the ability to handle as much stimulation as they could before. Keep your lobby calm and house senior patients in caging that shields them from pets that are louder and livelier.
Keep it on the down-low
Don’t lift senior dogs onto a traditional exam table. Use a lift table or perform the exam close to the floor.
Push the cushion
Provide cushioning so senior dogs don’t have to lie directly on the exam room floor. The same concept applies to the exam table for cats, so try using a warm towel.
Warm their towels, win their hearts
Speaking of towels, warm towels are nice for both senior cats and dogs, so consider investing in a towel warmer.
Remember that size matters
Senior pets might appreciate housing that gives them more space to maneuver.
Keep cages cozy
Heated recovery cages are great for older pets. Use the tray included to keep them from having direct contact with the heat source.