6 lessons learned about the decline of veterinary care - DVM
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6 lessons learned about the decline of veterinary care
Use these lessons to help turn around your practice and make sure pets get the care they need


DVM360 MAGAZINE


6. Feline decline

According to the Veterinary Care Usage Study, cats represent less than 40 percent of the patients most veterinary practices see, in spite of the fact that cats represent 55 percent of the combined dog and cat pet population in homes today. We also know that cat owners face physical and psychological barriers that interfere with feline veterinary care, from getting their cats into the carriers to not believing their cats require veterinary care. Chip away at these barriers by making your hospital more cat-friendly, working cooperatively with shelters on responsible cat adoptions, giving talks in the community and providing helpful information online.

Since a large percentage of cat owners are not currently working with veterinarians, it's critical to find ways to reach them where they are. And they're online in numbers well above the national average. In fact, there are so many cat conversations happening online that it might be considered the feline "dog park" for cat owners.

Post helpful facts and information on the new health and behavior guidelines for cats (available from AAFP and AAHA). You can also share the signs of disease and pain that cats show when they're not feeling well (available from the Catalyst Council) to let cat owners know when and why they should bring their kitties to you for care.

Despite all this, the Bayer Veterinary Care Usage Study is actually good news, because it gives veterinarians a roadmap for reaching pet owners. It also shows the areas that need to be addressed to help clients see the importance of regular veterinary care.

Use the ideas the study identified to take action in your own practice. There are materials from manufacturers and associations to help you, and there will be more coming soon under the newly formed Partnership for Preventive Pet Health care, (http://PetHealthPartnership.org/). There's no better time to get started than now on the changes that are coming to veterinary practice.

Karyn Gavzer, MBA, CVPM, is a veterinary business consultant and nationally known writer and speaker. She says her job is to help practices "go and grow" with training, marketing and new ideas. She is an adjunct instructor for AAHA and a founding member of VetPartners (formerly the Association of Veterinary Practice Management Consultants and Advisors).


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Source: DVM360 MAGAZINE,
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