Cats and dogs may remain the most common pets in Australia, but the number of exotic pets is increasing. According to the RSPCA, Australians own more than 8 million pet birds, plus hundreds of thousands of other unusual animals, including snakes, lizards, turtles, rats, ferrets and more.
Thanks to this trend, a number of veterinary practices are adapting their practice design to better cater to these furred, feathered and scaly exotic patients.
Some practices are even choosing to specialise in exclusively treating birds, reptiles or all exotic animals.
Below, we discuss some of the things you should consider when designing or adapting your veterinary practice for exotic pets.
Many veterinary practices have separate areas for cats and dogs. Similarly, when designing for exotic pets, it’s important to have separate areas for different species. In particular, it’s vital that you separate predators and prey so that they can neither see, hear nor smell one another. This ensures the animals won’t experience any unnecessary stress during their time with you.
If you’re incorporating the treatment of exotic patients into your existing general veterinary practice it’s worth considering adding different entrances to your facility design. This will prevent your feline and canine patients from inadvertently heightening your exotic patients’ anxiety, making the experience more pleasant for pet owners and their pets alike.
Cats and dogs might be content at room temperature, but that isn’t the case for many exotic animals. Temperature control for different rooms or even individual cages is key to promoting your unusual patients’ comfort and health. It’s also important to ensure that your treatment rooms and surgeries are designed to cater to these temperature requirements.
Like any specialisation, exotic animals often require specialist equipment and medications. Ensuring your practice is stocked with these necessities may seem obvious, but it’s an important design principle that’s worth mentioning.
Are you considering adding exotic pets to your scope of practice?
Contact us today to learn how Elite Fitout Solutions can help. Or check out our gallery of completed veterinary practice fitouts and refurbishments.