AAHA, Merial launch consumer pet health campaign

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May 01, 2002
By dvm360.com staff

Duluth, Ga.-The American Animal Hospital Association and Merial have teamed up to launch a new consumer education campaign on the importance of visiting the veterinarian.

The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that 27 million dogs and cats are not taken to the veterinarian on a regular basis.

To help educate pet owners about the importance of visiting the veterinarian regularly, the campaign has been dubbed "For Healthy Pets, Visit the Vet" consumer education campaign. The year-long initiative is designed to encourage pet owners to visit their veterinarian on a regular basis, so their pets can receive the best life-enhancing preventive medicine and required vaccinations, Merial reports.

With the arrival of spring and summer, cats and dogs will be spending more time outside, leaving them exposed to serious health threats posed by fleas, ticks and mosquitoes, including Lyme disease, heartworm disease and flea allergy dermatitis.

Pet owners cannot ignore the threats facing their dogs and cats, as one tick or mosquito bite can lead to serious health problems. According to the latest survey on heartworm infestation incidence, there is a significant number of heartworm cases reported nationwide.

Marty Becker, DVM and veterinary contributor to ABC-TV's "Good Morning America," explains, "Because we know the majority of pet owners treat their pet like a member of their family, they need to ensure its health and longevity by establishing a relationship with their veterinarian as they would establish a relationship with their pediatrician for their child."

Being a responsible pet owner means more than just loving your pets. As part of the For Healthy Pets, Visit the Vet campaign, an information kit has been developed to better prepare pet owners for their visit to the veterinarian. The kit includes a list of questions to ask the veterinarian, veterinary visit record keeper, informational brochures and product coupons. Clients can call 866-ASK-VETS or visit www.healthypet.com. Additionally, Frontline and Heartgard will sponsor local market events across the country to further educate pet owners about general pet healthcare and the benefits of visiting the veterinarian.

Merial is also hosting the Picture of Perfect Pet Health Contest, which will appear in the June issue of Good Housekeeping. Pet owners are encouraged to submit the most adorable picture of their healthy pet and 50 words or less on why it is the Picture of Perfect Pet Health.