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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Vets still see curbside appointments as safest way to care for pets

Nearly a year into the pandemic, many vets are sticking to curbside appointments despite some pet owners' frustrations.

ANKENY, Iowa — If you're a pet owner, you may have heard something like this over the phone when calling to make an appointment for you furry friend: "Just a reminder, it's curbside service, so give a call when you get here."

For Dexter's (a cat) dad Matthew Smith, it actually came as a bit of a surprise.

"I didn't realize it. It makes sense.  We've been a little delayed on his latest visit, The pandemic sure didn't help," said Smith, who had his first experience with curbside appointments at the Creature Comforts Veterinary Hospital.

The Centers for Disease Control and the American Medical Veterinary Association continue to recommend the curbside model.  Clinics following those recommendations have pet owners call when they arrive.  Then, someone comes out to pick up the pet and take them inside the doctor's office.  The doctor calls the pet owner to go over how the exam or procedure went. Eventually, the pet is brought back out.

"By doing the curbside and ensuring that we are protecting pet owners and ourselves, so can continue to do our job has been extremely important," said Dr. Mark Johnson, a veterinarian at Creature Comforts.

But now a year into the pandemic, Dr. Johnson says he's had some pet owners express their apprehension with the process.

"To not be in the exam room with the pets, I'm sure that causes anxieties for the pet owners. Some become frustrated with certain things, and I think that's anywhere in life at this point in time," said Dr. Johnson.

Smith, like many people, say he is eager to get back to normal but agrees with the continued cautious approach.

"Everyone is in a hurry or really wants to get back to normal--myself as well--but I think it's important to take the time because if we hurry to fast, we're going to end up in bigger trouble," he said.

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