Change can be nerve-wracking and exhilarating all at once. Here at ORAH we are growing more and more excited about our impending move to a new location. Many of our patients’ families seem excited too—we get asked about the move every day!
As much as we hate to leave the charm and history of our old dairy barn, there are some practical reasons why moving makes sense. Most importantly, we’ve known for a long time that we’ve outgrown the available space. When a patient has to wait longer than we’d like to see us, it’s usually because we don’t have a room available. Also, for a medical facility, there are obvious challenges in terms of heating, cooling and ventilating the space to our liking throughout the seasons. We know parking can be a challenge too, even though we’ve expanded the small lot a couple of times. Finally, for years we have wanted our building to be more accessible, to families and patients both. We love our porch but having stairs to climb simply to get in the building can be a challenge for some. With the small floor space in our entrance area, we haven’t been able to add an ADA compliant restroom. All these details will be corrected in our new location!
In addition to improving so many practical things with our move, we are even more excited about what the move will mean for our patients. There is a current shift in veterinary medicine towards creating a fear-free practice. Reducing the anxiety and stress some of our patients feel when visiting us is one of our most important goals right now. Some of what stresses our patients happens at the level of the facility—noises, odors, and face-to-face meetings with other patients can be anxiety triggers for some pets. While we want our entrance area to be a welcoming place where friends can cross paths, greet neighbors, even have a cup of coffee, we want our patients to have the space they need.
In our new facility, cats will have their own nook, away from curious dog noses. Dogs who enjoy other dogs can still say hello, but those who find other dogs threatening or who grow more worried around new people will be able to enter their exam rooms directly from a side door. On the rare occasions we need to take a patient to another spot to finish a procedure, we will have a quiet room that is not in the busiest part of the hospital. Examination rooms will offer treats for dogs and cats, pheromone sprays designed to reduce stress, and safe ways for cats to climb and “hide.”
When our new facility is ready, we will offer an Open House with a tour to explain all these exciting changes. Please visit www.fearfreepets.com to learn more about the theories behind a fear-free veterinary practice. Look for more information here in the future about what families, our veterinarians, and our staff can do as a team to reduce a pet’s stress at visiting the doctor!