How-To Handle Pets in a Veterinary Clinic

Understanding how to handle pets in a clinic environment is a major health issue. 

The pet in question is almost certainly ill or injured, and this means that hygiene moves to the top of the list so that germs and bacteria do not spread to other pet patients or their human owners. Vets and vet staff need to be trained in adequate pet handling skills.

Step 1: Clean and Disinfect Hands Regularly

Most pet germs can be avoided with regular hand washing and disinfectant use. As a general rule, all staff handling pets should wash their hands at the beginning of the day and at the end, before and after eating or smoking, after contact with an animal, after handling animal excretions or fluids, and before and after any invasive procedures.

Alcohol-based sanitizers are great for disinfecting tools and equipment, hands, and gloves. Nails should be kept short and clean to prevent trapping germs there.

Step 2: Protective Clothing Must Be Worn

Hands and forearms are key areas to keep clean, so protective clothing must be worn during examinations and surgeries. Everything from sterile gowns, masks, hair caps, and gloves needs to be worn. If a pet is suspected of carrying an infectious disease, the vet and vet staff should immediately put on protective gear.

Step 3: Clean and Disinfect Surfaces Regularly

Choose the right disinfectant cleaning products, and make an effort to wipe down surfaces after each animal patient visit to prevent the spread of disease and bacteria. Focus on disinfecting door handles, keyboards, light switches, telephones, and other regular-contact areas to keep your patients and their pets safe. We offer an easy-to-clean veterinary seamless epoxy flooring and have some great cleaning products and equipment recommendations. We also have an outdoor rubber granular flooring.

Step 4: Launder Clothing and Bedding

Lab coats, scrubs, bedding, and animal blankets need to be washed as they are used. Make sure that you wash all linens at more than 60 degrees and dry it at a high temperature to kill all infectious organisms. Store the laundry in a clean, dry place apart from the animal rooms.

Step 5: Wear Gloves

While gloves are not a substitute for hand hygiene, they do protect the vet from spreading disease and passing it on to other animals. Change gloves between each animal patient, and disinfect in between. You should also change gloves when moving from a dirty procedure to a clean one on the same animal.

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The Importance of Protective Equipment