Dr. Anthony S. Johnson — Pandemic Petiquette for COVID-19

Dr. Anthony S. Johnson has been working in the veterinary profession for over twenty-five years. In his time as a vet, nothing has changed the way he works quite like the COVID-19 pandemic. Offices are closed or working in totally new ways, people are home and spending more time with their pets, and a business focused on customer service and animal welfare is now required to respect social distancing orders. These changes have been an adjustment, not only for vets and those who work with them, but for pet owners, too.

Many veterinary offices are now only seeing emergency and severe cases in-person. Routine check-ups, nail trims, and other non-essential services are being limited if not canceled all together. Etiquette surrounding vet visits has changed and Dr. Anthony S. Johnson is here to advise pet parents on the best, most efficient ways to make sure your pet gets exactly what he or she needs with as little stress on them and their humans as possible.

Stop and Assess

If your pet’s condition doesn’t feel urgent, resist the urge to run to your vet’s office. Dr. Johnson explains, “Things like skin tags, lumps, and bumps usually aren’t emergencies. Consider taking a photograph if you’re worried and calling or e-mailing your vet. Many practices are now serving their customers through phone calls or email. This may be all you need to calm your nerves and get the information you need. If your pet needs to see a veterinarian in person, your vet’s office will let you know.”

Call Ahead and Read the Signs

As more states open up and restrictions are relaxed, you may be able to accompany your pet inside the office. If this is the case, stop at the front door and read the signs. Most offices will have social distancing instructions posted on the door before you enter. Don’t rush into the office in a panic without understanding the procedures in place to protect both you and your veterinarian. “When your pet is suffering, it’s easy to forget your petiquette,” says Dr. Johnson. “Try to remain calm and follow instructions. Chances are your vet and everyone who works in the office from administration to technicians are more stressed than usual.” Everyone is doing their best and you should try to as well.

Keep Calm and Wash Your Hands

Dr. Anthony S. Johnson is a veterinarian, academic researcher, and teacher originally from Carmel, Indiana, now living and working in Illinois. He has published numerous academic articles, taught veterinary medicine at Purdue University, and headed up several emergency departments across the United States. Dr. Johnson now works as the Medical Director at the Veterinary Information Network (VIN).

Medical Director, VIN. Carmel, Indiana.