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6545 Cooley Lake Rd

Waterford, MI 48327

(248) 363-1508

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Waiting Game: The Reasons Behind Wait Times to See Your Vet

Waiting to See Your Vet

You’re at the vet waiting for 15 minutes for Fluffy to be seen for an annual exam. With only an hour break, or with errands to run, the clock is ticking. Frustrated? Probably. Or, you have to wait an extra 30 minutes because your veterinarian had a last-minute situation with another pet. Waiting may seem unfair since you had an appointment.

In our very busy world, it’s tough to find the time to do the important things needed to give ourselves and our pets the care and attention we all deserve. When you make time for a visit to the vet, you want to understand why you may have to wait longer than you expected. 

Why the Wait?

If you have a set appointment, it’s especially frustrating when you have to wait. We understand. Scheduled appointment times give everyone a chance to be seen and to ensure that the essential exams are met. Unfortunately, the amount of time estimated per each appointment is not, in reality, an exact science and not always within our control.

According to a national study of the veterinary industry, clients typically wait 17 minutes to see their veterinarian past the appointment time, though it was rare to wait more than 30 minutes.

The reasons behind the wait times vary, but generally include one of the following:

  1. Critical or emergency arrival – Obviously, emergencies can’t be planned. While we do our best to anticipate emergency visits, our team has to attend to critical emergencies first, in all cases. When an emergency impacts waiting clients, they are informed of the situation and the expected wait time. Our highest priority is the health of all of our pet patients, so we do everything we can to respond to a critical situation right away.

  2. Late arrivals – Let’s admit it, most of us have shown up 5-10 minutes late to an appointment, thinking it isn’t a big deal. Unfortunately, these late arrivals impact the next appointment.

  3. Nervous patient – Pets with anxiety or behavioral problems require a little more TLC and time to acclimate them to the exam room and exam.  

  4. Difficult situation – Discussing the issue of end of life, or a recent diagnosis of cancer, is upsetting for any of us who love our pets. In these appointments, allowing the client more time to ask questions and express their worries, fears, and concerns is of the utmost importance.

There are times, too, when life is just being life, such as a flat tire, a miscalculation in time, or a day when seasonal illnesses have the clinic short-staffed. Life can sometimes get in the way, but you can be sure that the staff at Union Lake values your time, as well as the time it takes to give your pet the best care possible. 

We are also aware of the importance of time in today’s hectic world and do what we can to communicate any changes in appointment times, including wait time in our hospital. 

Avoiding Wait Times to See the Vet

Although we can’t control all of the main issues that bump back appointments and call for longer waits, you are able to help us stay on schedule.

  • Bring all of your pet’s paperwork and any medication they are on.

  • Explain over the phone the reason why you are coming in, and any symptoms your pet might be displaying.

  • Come a few minutes early, whenever possible.

  • Please call us if you don’t have an appointment and need to have your pet seen, so we can be prepared.

  • Let us know if you have time constraints. We’ll do our best to accommodate those. 

  • Consider dropping off your pet for an exam and scheduling to meet with the vet when you return.

Lastly, as we do our best each and every day to deliver quality care to our amazing pet patients and their families, we thank you and are grateful for your patience when you have to wait. You would want the same grace for your own best friends, should they need a little extra time, so we appreciate it when you allow this for others.

If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call our friendly team.