The Open Hospital Concept: Inviting Pet Owners to the Back
This term, “to the back”, has traditionally been a source of anxiety for pet owners and veterinary professionals, as pet owners want to accompany their pets and the veterinary team wants to focus on the patient. The different perspectives have valid points of concern that are not universally understood by either party. Various articles explaining the stance veterinary practices take to the public have been written in the effort to seek acceptance at least as a necessary evil, or even as a benefit to everyone involved. Despite these valid reasons, owners cannot help but worry about their pets when they are taken to the mysterious area that is “the back” of the practice. Let’s explore the pros and cons of owner presence in the veterinary practice through the perspective of the pet, owner, and veterinary practice, specifically relating to alleviation of fear and anxiety in all parties involved. Could we, as the veterinary community better alleviate stress by having owners accompany their pets “to the back”?