Vets are well aware that not all new pet owners are fully educated on the care needs for their animals. From vaccination schedules to tips for avoiding fleas and ticks, a comprehensive checklist of key pet-care reminders will not only go a long way towards preventing future health problems in your furry clients, but will also empower owners to take control of their pet’s care and make sure they are meeting their needs through every stage of life. It will also help grow your clinic’s customer loyalty and spread positive word of mouth about your services.
Vets may consider expanding this basic checklist into a customizable take-home pamphlet where pet owners can record important notes, dates, medical needs, care instructions, and other information. If a pet is tipping the veterinary scales, for instance, and their weight is a cause for concern, include detailed dietary recommendations in the pamphlet so that owners can quickly get the problem under control.
Here are the top 5 topics you should include in your pet-owner checklist:
Vaccinations (primary & boosters)
Many pet owners have a misconception that because their pup “already received their shots” from the previous owner that they don’t need any more. However, even if they have records of the original shots, many boosters could be missing. Educate the owners on how vaccinations work, which vaccines will require boosters, and when they should return to the office for updates.
Spaying or Neutering
Many cat and dog owners are uncertain as to when they should spay or neuter their pets. Busting myths, creating realistic expectations, and enlightening clients with the latest medical discoveries and best practices can help your clients make an educated choice on when they will take their pet in for spaying or neutering.
Fleas, Ticks, and Worms
Some of the biggest problems can come from the tiniest bugs, which is why parasite control is an extremely important part of animal care. Talk with your new clients about the types of bugs and parasites you should defend against, why it is vital to do so, and why in many cases they will need to repeat treatment on a regular basis. It’s also important to inform them that some animal-borne intestinal parasites are also capable of affecting humans, particularly young children.
Breed-Specific Health Concerns
Whether it’s respiratory problems in Bulldogs or hip dysplasia in German Shepherds, it can be very helpful to discuss the health issues that their breed is prone to. It can provide realistic expectations for how much care their new pet will need now and in the future as well as insight into what they should look out for and things they can do to improve their pet’s health and prevent future complications.
Grooming is about more than just cute haircuts, fragranced shampoos, and soft, touchable fur. It is also about keeping your animal clean, healthy, and comfortable. You should cover the basics from general washing to teeth brushing and cleaning out the ears. Some breeds, for example, may require more frequent bathing. If the dog has skin issues or is prone to them, you may recommend specific products to help ease breakouts.