Vet360, December 2016 - Page 5

PRACTICE MANAGEMENT Try these tips to get started. • • • • • guilt onto them. Offer healthy treats Pet the patient Talk sweetly to the patient Offer soft, comfortable bedding Play soothing music in the exam room Making the visit as low-stress as possible also helps us establish a positive relationship with our new patients from the start. Our patients remember more than what we give them credit for, and a stressful visit will stick with them. And remember, it will also make your job much easier on future visits. One last tip: If you do nothing else to make your practice low-stress for patients, please separate your cat and dog patients in the lobby! This is one of the most common hot button issues for cat owners. 3 ...Leave out family education on zoonotic disease At the top of the list of our important duties is educating pet owners on the risks of zoonotic disease and proper precautions to avoid transmission. We see intestinal parasites such as roundworms and hookworms much more frequently in young puppies and kittens. So be sure to educate families with young children to wash their hands after playing with their new pets and before handling food. Remind clients to regularly pick up pet feaces from the yard and dispose of it. Explain that people shouldn't walk barefoot in areas soiled with animal feaces. And lastly, for clients with very young children, emphasise the dangers of eating dirt or soil, which could be contaminated. 4 ...Pass judgment on the breeder your client chose We typically know which breeders in our area are unscrupulous and potential puppy mills, but we should refrain from openly sharing our opinions on these breeders with people who've already bought a pet. By this time, that breeder has finalised the transaction, and the family is in love with the new pet. When we make negative comments in these situations, it only worries the family and passes undue Try to redirect your efforts by educating clients about whether there have been outbreaks of certain diseases stemming from that breeder and recommending the patient be tested. In general, other commentary isn't necessary. 5 ...Don't cover the basics Taking in a new puppy or kitten is a huge household change for the family. We shouldn’t assume pet owners already know basic husbandry, even if they have other pets. It may have been some time since they've had a young pet, and there's so much more to client education beyond listing out the vaccines pets need and setting up their neuter or spay surgery. For example, you'll also want to discuss how to puppy- or kitten-proof the home. Topics to cover: • Ensure electrical cords aren't exposed • Block stairs • Keep medications (and trash cans!) out of reach • Don’t share toxic foods. Also be sure to cover the high-quality diet you recommend, how to get into a routine with the new pet—especially for puppies—and training. Clients only retain a small percentage of what's covered during the exam—it’s usually a lot to digest, and they're simultaneously focused on keeping their pets calm during the appointment. Use client handouts to help educate new pet parents on the topics they need to keep top of mind. The gift that keeps on giving: With a well-trained team, a welcoming and clean facility and these tips in mind, you can ensure a successful first visit for new puppy and kitten owners. Winning over these firsttime patients and their pet parents can help you lock in a lifetime of high-quality healthcare for these pets at your practice. Article reprinted with the permission of DMV360, The article was originally printed in September 29, 2016 , Firstline. Firstline is a co \YYXX][ۈوY[\[][X][ۜ[ˈ[Y\\Y HUTSTHPԐUԖBPQӓPPSHUSTTPBX\ZH[ۋSYY] X\[JBX\SYY] ]JB[ܜ\SYY] ]JB]XYۛ^֓PԐUԖBMٙY]Y]\X\]\‚[ H L M B^ H B[    L   MN M]XYۛ^]\[] ˞B[X[H\[8$ ][]ZX[] B[Y\[SYY] []JB[HX^HSYY] []JB\ܛ\SYY] ]\B]\ۈ Hۜ [JB]XYۛ^]][“PԐUԖBM\YYH[ZY[  LLL̈ XZ[XB  M MNH XZ[XB H M M ]H[ B]][YZ[] ˞B]XYۛ^\HۂPԐUԖBH۝ZH^B[]B[[B\YH PSPT M B[ JHLL ‘^ JHM͈  LB\P] ˞B