Clinic By Design

Things to consider when designing a Veterinary Fit Out.

Designing a Veterinary fit out is an individual journey for each Veterinary Practice.  We have found through years of experience in Veterinary design, that early consultation with our clients is key to understanding the key factors that affect the efficient operation and flow of their Veterinary Practice.

Close consideration is paid to space planning and design for all functional zones including Consultation rooms, surgery rooms, waiting areas, reception areas, caged areas, staff amenities, safety and the comfort of both humans and animals alike.

Today we will focus on how different animal clientele effect the design of a veterinary fit out. We will consider things that our design team usually consider when planning for various different animal care.

Examination rooms

The size of each consultation room is often dictated by the available space together with the animal clientele. Specialist animal hospitals that have similar clientele will often design consultation rooms with similar dimensions through their practice, yet other animal hospitals might have larger consultation rooms to suit larger animals ie horses or cows. Rural Vet Practices often have internal and external examination rooms to cater for various animals.

Separate Entrances

Sometimes animal hospitals that cater for diverse animal patients might consider various different entrances. For example, larger farm animals might have an entrance direct from holding yards into a consultation room together with more main-stream entrances for the more domesticated animal such as dogs, cats and rabbits.

Animal Cages

Animals that are being monitored or have undergone surgery will often spend some time at the veterinary clinic. This can also include overnight stays.  In regards to catering for all different animals, a well-planned veterinary fit out would include various cage sizes to cater from larger animals such as large breed dogs and smaller cages for kittens and rabbits.  Many Veterinary clinics also will have glass cages with ultraviolet lights for reptile and bird enclosures.

Hygiene and cleanliness for these areas is critical to infection control.  Ensuring floors, cages, examination tables, waiting areas are designed with non-porous materials is fundamental to the longevity to the veterinary practice and overall health of patients.

Proper ventilation in animal cages and animal containment rooms is critical to maintaining air quality and to reduce the risk of respiratory issues in the enclosed area.

Waiting areas and Reception

Comfortable waiting areas for both pets and their owners is a crucial factor in determining if a customer returns or not. Veterinary practices with ample space may invest in separate waiting areas for dogs and cats in an attempt to minimise stress on both the pet and owner. Smaller Veterinary Practices might have well designed smaller waiting areas that provide some visual isolation in an attempt to alleviate anxiety for both owner and pet alike.

Sound minimising fittings are a welcome addition to bustling noisy waiting areas. Loud barking that echoes off walls will simply increase the stress levels of already anxious pets. Accordingly, sound minimising fittings are a sensible investment in creating a calmer environment.

Exotic pet facilities

Reptiles, small mammals and birds often require additional consideration to achieve a calm, healthy environment. This might include heat lamps, UV lights and temperature control.  Specialist pet diagnostic equipment such as avian endoscopy or reptile incubators are additions to some veterinary practices and must be considered during the design phase.

Parking areas

Designing car parking areas that cater for larger animals with trailers and other large vehicles is key to calm transport management. Safe unloading zones together with safe holding areas require additional space planning and consideration. These areas might also require water management and undercover areas for relief form Australia’s sun and rain.

There is a plethora of considerations that designers consider when designing spaces for various different veterinary practices.  Designing a veterinary fit out is usually prepared by experienced architects and builders in collaboration of owners and other stakeholders. Ensuring that your Veterinary Practice can cater for the multitude of animals that come through the door will be the first step to ensuring the future success of your Veterinary Practice.