10 topics you should discuss with clients
Open communication between veterinarians and clients is crucial to helping pets maintain optimal health. The American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA) recently released a list of the top 10 topics pet owners ask their veterinarians about during a visit. Are you and your team prepared to answer them? Here’s the list:
1. Results of the physical exam, including an oral health evaluation. Dental disease is one of the most common health problems that pets experience and it can lead to serious problems.
2. Changes in the pet’s diet, energy level, water intake, output and behavior. Any of these might be important health clues.
3. Lumps and bumps. Although many of the lumps and bumps are not problems, some of them are cause for concern.
4. Senior care. If the pet is older than 7 years of age, it’s more prone to conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, thyroid conditions and other problems. Prevention and early detection of problems are key to helping the pet live a longer, healthier life.
5. Vaccinations. They are essential and should be tailored to the pet’s lifestyle.
6. Weight. Is the pet overweight and, if it is, how can it get back to a healthy weight?
7. Nutrition. What type of food should the pet eat? What serving size is appropriate? And does the pet’s age impact what it should be eating?
8. Emergency care and where to go when things go wrong or after the veterinary clinic’s regular hours.
9. Proper behavior training and socialization. Shelters report that improper training and socialization—and the behavioral issues that can come with them—are some of the most common reasons people give up their pets.
10. Parasite prevention and control for heartworms, fleas, ticks and intestinal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms that’s appropriate for your region of the country.
Make sure clients have a good grasp on each of these topics. If they don’t, it’s time to have a conversation.