Make a case for vaccinations

Make a case for vaccinations

Tired of your veterinary clients' excuses when it comes to vaccinations? Here are a few examples you might hear, with the bad (and better) ways to state your case.
source-image
Apr 01, 2013
By dvm360.com staff

1. Client: My little old Fluffy never goes outside. Why does she need a rabies vaccine?

Bad: Well, it’s a core vaccine, so she should get it.

Clients probably don’t understand the difference between core and non-core vaccines. Instead of confusing them with this language, give them the facts in an easy-to-understand, relatable way.

Better: I’ve certainly considered Fluffy's age and lifestyle in making my recommendations today. But rabies is a fatal viral disease that affects many species, including humans. If Fluffy bit a person or another animal, there could be legal ramifications, and I’d hate to see that happen. By following the state and local regulations for rabies vaccinations, we’re protecting Fluffy—and you.

2. Client: I’ve had pets my whole life and never had a problem. Why do I need to vaccinate my Rufus?

Bad: All pets need vaccines—the vaccination guidelines say so.

Although you and your staff understand the value of following vaccination guidelines, chances are, your clients would respond better to a more personalized recommendation. Let them know you’ve given careful consideration to their pet’s age, lifestyle, and medical history to formulate an individualized vaccination protocol that’s just right for their pet.

Better: There are certain vaccinations that are standard in preventing major infectious—and often fatal—diseases. But there are others that might not be as necessary for your pet. Let’s talk about your dog’s lifestyle and history in order to come up with the best plan.

3. Client: I don’t want to vaccinate my Bella. I’ve heard too many horror stories about bad reactions.

Bad: Oh, I’m sure that won’t be a problem today.

Adverse reactions to vaccines can happen but most are rare and of little significance in otherwise healthy pets. Calm your clients’ nerves, but also help them understand that the benefits of vaccinating far outweigh the risks of disease.

Better: I understand your concerns, but most pets do very well after getting their vaccines. We’ll talk about some common side effects that you may see today, but anything more than that is very rare. Plus, by having Bella vaccinated, you’re protecting her from much more serious diseases that she’s otherwise susceptible to.

Hot topics on dvm360

Vetcetera: The complex topic of canine fear-related aggression

A guided tour of resources for addressing this popular and complicated subject, featuring advice from Dr. John Ciribassi.

Reality TV and the veterinarian: Discussing mainstream dog training advice with clients

Your clients may be getting behavior advice from cable TV. Get your opinion in the mix.

Blog: Election results pose obstacles for veterinary prescription law

Flip in U.S. Senate's majority may slow progress of Fairness to Pet Owners Act.

The war between shelters, veterinarians needs to end

Despite practitioners’ legitimate gripes, they’re hurting themselves.

7 steps to a better relationship between veterinarians and rescue groups

A DVM in the city shares his advice to veterinary practices for working with rescues.