Keep 'unfaithful' veterinary clients connected

How do I protect and monitor my patients when they buy their flea, tick, heartworm, and other preventives from big-box pharmacies?
source-image
Jul 01, 2012
By dvm360.com staff

Q: How do I protect and monitor my patients when they buy their flea, tick, heartworm, and other preventives from big-box pharmacies?


Dr. Mike Paul
When his clients would sheepishly admit they had their dog neutered at a humane facility or their pets vaccinated at a mobile clinic, Dr. Mike Paul responded, "Good for you for making sure they're protected! Please let me know when you go to a mobile clinic so I can enter it into your pet's chart." And sometimes he would add, "Naturally, I would prefer you come to our hospital, but the important thing is that the vaccination or procedure is done. Just be sure you come to us for any illness or injury."

The goal, he says, is to always maintain an open relationship with the client. "I feel the same way about products purchased online or from a big-box store," says Dr. Paul, principal of Magpie Veterinary Consulting. Don't browbeat the client, he says. "That only makes it less likely that he or she will return for other pet care."

Not sure how to broach the subject? Ask clients what medications their pets are on and where they came from. Encourage them to keep you in the loop, to ask questions, and to consult you if problems arise. Keeping communication lines open will encourage return visits.