CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. — New York State's curbside mandate for veterinary hospitals was lifted last week. It means pet owners can finally come into the exam room instead of having to wait in their car during appointments.
Before it was lifted, only owners who had to euthanize their pets were able to go into the hospitals.
New York State is still requiring masks in them, but is leaving it up to vets to decide what other rules they want to require.
The Cheektowaga Veterinary Hospital is one of those places now letting pet owners in with their cats and dogs.
Though Dr. Susan Wylegala says she was actually surprised at how less stressed animals were not having their owners coming inside before.
"I would say 95 percent way more relaxed without their owners in the building, way more relaxed," Wylegala said. "Really if an owner is nervous or is anticipating their pet being nervous, then the pets feed off that emotion for sure and without that for them, it was a significantly more relaxing environment."
Wylegala will also continue offering curbside appointments, even after the pandemic for that reason, and out of convenience for pet owners. Masks must be worn and a pet can only have one owner with them for now.
However, Wylegala thinks the curbside option is here to stay for the entire industry.
"Moving forward as a business, we always want to make it easier for our clients to obtain veterinary care," she said.
While some pet owners found the option more convenient under the mandate, Mariah Mekarski says it's about time it was lifted because her cat Tater Tot gets too anxious without her at Buffalo's Summer Street Cat Clinic.
"I'm very happy because I take her at least two times a month to get a glucose check and I always have to leave her at the front door and it's very sad," Mekarski said.
Since the state has left it up to veterinary hospitals to decide on whether they want pet owners back inside, it's best to check with your pet's doctor on what theirs are.
Some have already put it on Facebook such as Transit Animal Hospital and City Creatures Animal Hospital.