Updated Curbside-Concierge Protocol August 2020
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow in scope in the U.S. and Florida specifically, we are expanding and revising our safety precautions to help protect our clients and our healthcare team by following CDC & WHO guidelines. This is an ever-changing situation and we continue to seek ways to streamline the process while optimizing our safety precautions.
This necessitates reduced direct human contact and we have modified our appointment, boarding procedures and food/prescription pick-up protocols. While we are open to provide continued veterinary care and boarding, our lobby is currently closed. We simply cannot provide proper social distancing in our lobby and exam rooms.
To protect the health of our team and other clients, we request all clients showing any signs of illness including low grade fever and simple body aches please remain at home and not bring your pet in for care. This includes the more obvious signs of COVID-19 as well. If you have a known exposure to COVID-19 or a pending test, we request you have someone else bring your pet in for you. We will happily speak to you by phone directly, but request you not come in person.
We have an online pre-appointment form to help expedite check-in for appointments – this form provides an opportunity to express your concerns, advise us of abnormal behaviors, note any questions and provide us with critical health information in advance of your appointment. Please complete this prior to your scheduled appointment so we may review the information before your arrival. We will still call you at check-in, so you may add any new observations, requests or concerns if anything has changed. If you are including medication refill requests, please complete and submit the form 24 hours before your appointment so we may fill those prescriptions in advance and have them ready for you at your appointment time (if appropriate). There is a separate registration form for pets coming for boarding. Completing the boarding registration form online in advance will reduce the time required to check in on site. If your pet is boarding and needs medical care as well, please complete both forms to expedite admission upon arrival.
If you do not have a cell phone, please notify us when you make your appointment and we will make special arrangements to manage communication as safely as possible.
All cats, rabbits and other small mammals must be in a carrier or closed cage for their safety. All dogs must be leashed at all times.
Check-in/Admission Process for Appointments:
- When you pull into a parking space, you will see a sign with our phone number and the parking space number. Please call to notify us that you have arrived. Please stay in your car and a team member will speak to you over the phone to record your pet’s current health status, including any symptoms or concerns or specific requests. They will review any concerns you have noted on the online pre-appointment pet information form and clarify any questions. A team member will ask you to then collect your pet and meet them on the sidewalk directly in front of your vehicle – please have your protective mask in place. The team member will come to collect your pet to bring them into the clinic for examination and evaluation and to have you authorize any documents, if needed. For dogs, the staff member will apply a double slip lead and you may then remove your personal leash after they have their leashes in place. Belcher Road is extremely busy, so it is critical dogs be leashed at all times and in either your control or ours.
- We ask you to remain in your car onsite if your pet is here for an exam/appointment so you are readily available should we have any additional questions and in order to return your pet to you as promptly as possible. Our goal is to minimize pet anxiety and have you reunited as quickly as is practical. We will use our typical anxiety-reducing Fear Free techniques while caring for your pet. This often involves treats, so please warn us if there is anything they should not eat!
- Please have your phone volume on and answer your phone when we call as this is by far our safest communication method.
- Once the exam/evaluation is complete, we will call to share any concerns or clarify questions and review the results of the exam and recommendations for treatment if warranted. Any recommended treatments will be performed with your approval and medications prepared for dispensing as needed.
- One of the team will then take care of processing payment so the receipt may be returned to you with your pet as well as any medications if indicated. The team member will clarify if a follow-up exam is warranted and review any medication instructions. Please meet them on the sidewalk in front of your vehicle again (masked) for the return of your pet.
Surgical or Dental Procedures or “Drop-Off” Appointments (anything involving sedation or anesthesia or day boarding):
- The check-in process is the same, but you need not stay onsite and we will call you later with an update per our usual protocol. Please provide the best contact number(s) for the entire day. We will review any findings, questions, medications by phone and discharge just like an outpatient appointment as outlined above. If we have not reached you by 3pm, feel free to call in to check on your pet’s status.
- The check-in process is similar and we’ll review your pet’s feeding schedule, needs/concerns during boarding and review your pre-appointment information from the online boarding registration form and have you authorize the usual boarding paperwork. Due to the potential transfer of Covid, please do not bring your pet’s bedding during this pandemic. We will provide our own bedding throughout their stay. <This may be adjusted if we under the Hurricane Boarding Protocol>
- If you are picking up from boarding, you may call ahead and we can prepare your pet(s) and collect your pet’s belongs for delivery to you when you arrive. Please call upon arrival and we’ll process your payment and bring everything to your car for you, bringing your pet(s) last if there are multiple trips. Please check to make sure you have all your pet’s belongings and medications before leaving.
Medication or food pick-up:
- Please call from your car and we can process payment over the phone and deliver your medication or food and receipt directly to you in your vehicle. Many medications (not all) can be mailed by Priority Mail also if that is preferable. Order Pet food for delivery
Our goal is to provide the best possible service and care while minimizing risk during this uncertain and stressful time. While this is unfamiliar to us all, if we work together, we can continue to provide healthcare for your animals safely.
Our staff is working very hard to provide care for your pets (at some personal risk), to maintain intensive disinfection protocols and to continue to meet our medical standards in these chaotic times – please show them kindness; they are working harder than ever.
We will continue to monitor the situation closely and adjust as needed as this evolves. We are constantly seeking ways to make this process more efficient, but it definitely creates some challenges and is often more time consuming.
We do expect possible disruption in supply chains and distribution of products and medications and we are seeing some shipping delays. We will continue to strive to provide the best possible care for your family pets while trying to minimize everyone’s risk.
We do so appreciate your patience and understanding during this unprecedented crisis. Our hope is to be able to continue to provide comprehensive healthcare for your pets throughout this difficult situation.
-Dr. Baird and the staff of Country Oaks Animal Hospital