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Proactive for Pets


Article by Animal Hospital of West Chester

Photography by Animal Hospital of West Chester

Despite a national veterinarian staffing shortage and increased animal adoptions across the country, Animal Hospital of West Chester (AHWC) is more efficient and focused on care than ever before. In response to this crisis of supply and demand, Dr. Jennifer Dehnbostel, “Dr. D,” urges pet owners to be proactive in pet health. 

Until we start seeing the number of new patients go down and the number of veterinary staff and resources start growing, this will be a challenge for the foreseeable future.

 Nine Steps to a Healthier, Happier Pet

  1. Make appointments for routine care early, even weeks or months in advance. PLEASE do not wait a few days before vacation to call.
  2. Make appointments early on during an illness. Do not wait for 3-5 days for symptoms like diarrhea to resolve. It’s easier to treat problems before they get too serious.
  3. Do not miss or be late to your appointment. We want to give each scheduled patient the best care we can in the time we have together.
  4. Ensure your pets stay on their preventative medications like heartworm and flea and tick meds to avoid illness.
  5. We will do our best to return your phone call in a timely manner.  Remember, we must prioritize our time for patient care. At times, human communication comes last. We will reply as soon as we can. 
  6. If you must go to the ER, be prepared for a long wait. Just as in human emergency rooms, Vet ERs see patients based on severity of illness, not in order of arrival.  Unfortunately, there are many nights when the ER is full.
  7. When you start thinking and talking about getting a new pet, call AHWC prior to the adoption to schedule an initial examination appointment.  
  8. If you move, establish veterinary care as soon as possible. New Client appointments are limited as we prioritize  our current clients’ needs. 
  9. Continue to be patient and kind with us. Our pets and their owners are like family to us. We understand you may feel frustrated and anxious,  but taking that anger out on the staff is never acceptable. We are trying to handle the stressful situations that arise with your pet to the best of our ability.     

Remember you are not alone.  It is our privilege to partner with you to keep healthy pets healthy.  It’s you, your pet and AHWC versus your pet’s illness. We are all on the same team and fighting for the same goal–to help your pet in any way possible.  

AHWC continues to provide quality care that’s worth the wait and without compromise.