Keeping Pets Safe

practice manager Sharon DeNayer
on using Tabband collars

Ready in Advance

"We have the TabBand collars made up before the pets are dropped off, so they're ready for the pets upon their arrival."

We Can't Mix Them Up

"The pet wears the band to its 'hospital suite.' It helps clients realize that when there are several animals of the same breed, we can't mix them up. That's always a concern. They're not sure we can tell their black lab from other black labs!

"The TabBand collar stays on the pet until the owner comes back for the animal. We refer to it as our hospital ID. Owners get an ID band when they go into the hospital and many people are pleasantly surprised to see their pets get one too. We feel it adds value and professionalism to the client's perception of the hospital. We make a show of it. It's important for people to know that we're doing everything possible to keep their pets safe while they're here.

Part of the Bonding

"It's also important for the staff who work with the animal to be able to glance down and call the pet by its name. That is part of our bonding process with our clients, letting them know we care about them and their pets.

"This morning we had two kittens here for their first inoculations. The way the owner tells them apart is by the 'M' on the foreheads — one is wider than the other! We wouldn't be able to tell them apart if they were hospitalized at the same time unless they wore ID bands. When they're the same color, same sex, same breed, and same age, you are certainly going to want a positive way to tell them apart.

Sense of Security

"When they're ready to go home, we snip the TabBand collar off in front of the owners. It gives them a sense of security to know that their pets were identified the entire time they spent with us no matter where they were in the clinic. We don't ever expect to have an animal escape, but we want to be prepared if such a thing were to happen. We want an escaped pet to be identified with and returned to the clinic.

"Our staff all wear name tags, so why wouldn't we want to identify the animals? We want to enjoy our time with our patients. We want to call them by name. TabBand collars provide a double check that we're doing the right things with each patient and that the pets are where they should be. It's a reminder to all staff of everything that needs to be done with a patient.

"We want our clients to know that their pets are in the best hands possible when they have to leave them — that we’re doing everything possible to keep their pets safe and secure.

Keeping the system going

"We have certain procedures we follow and using TabBand collars has just become routine. In our clinic, our technicians usually take the animals to the kitty condos and dog runs and they see that the pets are wearing their bands. Whoever takes the pets to the cages is responsible for seeing that the IDs are in place and that everything's in the cage that belongs in it.

"It seems strange for our patients not to have a TabBand collar. Once in a long while, we'll see an animal without one and someone will ask, 'Who is that gray cat in Ward B?' We all watch for the bands, and they've helped us become more efficient. Now it's a routine, a system. We put the band right in the medical record awaiting the arrival of the animal. The cage card is already on the cage because we set those up the night before the pet's arrival. We've made it easy for all the staff to identify all the patients in our hospital."

Sharon DeNayer
Windsor Veterinary Clinic
Windsor, Colorado

Sharon DeNayer was chosen "Practice Manager of the Year" by Veterinary Economics, Firstline, and the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association.