Kids and animals often go together like peanut butter and jelly. However, children still should learn more about how to care for a pet before you bring one home. If you already have pets in the home, but would like your children to understand and learn more about them, touring an animal hospital helps. Here is how your tour helps your children, your class, your scouting troop, etc., learn more about animal care.
First Stop: The Exam Room
Many veterinarians and their assistants will make the first stop of the tour in the exam room. Here, your kiddos will learn about what the vet looks for:
- Healthy teeth and gums
- Bright, clear eyes
- Clean ears
- Lean bodies
- Playful versus lethargic movement
- Lumps or unusual marks
Then the vet or vet technician will explain that how having numbers 1 through 4 above indicate that the pet is healthy. The lack of any of these things, or having anything present from #6, means that their pet is not well. As for #5, the vet looks for an active, playful pet or one that wants to run around or run away instead of just laying on the exam table. Kids will also see all of the various instruments used to check a pet's health, from a stethoscope to a thermometer to a microscope, under which they may even be able to see slides of disease or parasites.
The Test Room, or Lab
Most animal hospitals also have a lab, where the children can see cabinets filled with medicines for the animals and lots of microscopes and testing supplies. Their tour guide will explain what the lab is used for, and how it helps the vets determine what is making an animal sick. From the lab, the tour continues into the operating rooms (so long as no operations are happening at the time of the tour).
The Operating Rooms
Pets need operations just like people, and children will learn that sometimes keeping their pets healthy means putting the pets through pain and surgery. This can be a very important lesson for the children, since it is often difficult for them to see their pets in pain after surgery. The kids will also see all of the surgical instruments used here, and learn about how animals are put to sleep under anesthesia so that the animals do not feel pain when the surgery happens. At this point of the tour, children often have lots of questions, and the vet technician or veterinarian will answer their questions about pet care, pet health and the importance of taking care of the animals.