GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Veterinarians across West Michigan are seeing a significant increase in requests for care during the pandemic.
Dr Ryan Carpenter of Family Friends Veterinary Hospital in Grand Rapids says they "and most veterinary clinics are seeing 20 to 40% more cases in general than maybe we did last year or the year before.”
The coronavirus is of course keeping many of us at home for longer hours, and Dr Carpenter says that it has been encouraging a good amount of people to get a new dog or cat.
In addition to families seeking an appointment, they are also seeing an increased need for emergent care. Saying that people seem to be outside playing with their pets,
“We're seeing anywhere from routine appointments to sick appointments," he told FOX 17 Monday morning.
Summer is already a busy time for veterinary clinics, and with the added safety precautions due to the virus, people may be in for a longer-than-usual wait time when making an appointment.
“The owners are staying in the car, the pets are coming to the hospital," Dr Carpenter said.
"And to be able to do and see the amount of things that we need to be able to see in a day, that's just the safest for for everyone at this point.”
Somebody from the animal hospital will come out to your vehicle and bring your pet inside. Because of that, it is important to have all of your questions and concerns ready to go when you arrive.
“I usually recommend with car-side appointments, have a list of what you'd like addressed, so that we make sure that there's no miscommunication gap over the phone when we're kind of addressing this, so make sure you're prepared," Dr Carpenter said.
So make sure you are patient when trying to make an appointment or arrive for your scheduled appointment.
“I think we have a tendency as pet owners to put things off and, 'Oh they'll be better tomorrow,' but planning ahead surely helps in this scenario,” Dr Carpenter said.
Family Friends Veterinary Hospital is trying to get animals who need immediate attention in as soon as possible, but he says many routine appointments are currently scheduling about 2 to 3 weeks out.
You can find out more about Family Friends and the services they offer at their website.