Tough love, education and preventive care
If it's viewed as a test of wills, cats are winning.
Pet owners are so frustrated by the trip to the veterinarian that some are just throwing in the towel on the entire experience.
Other pet owners are just delaying it.
"The biggest single obstacle for cat owners is the inability to get the cat to the vet," Volk says. "That's where the fight
begins, and it seems, that is where it ends."
Helping cat owners with this basic problem could go a long way to improve visitation numbers each year. (Go to http://catalystcouncil.org/ for some useful suggestions on this topic.)
But there is an even deeper issue: Pet owners don't understand the benefits of an annual veterinary exam. And if you peel
away the issue, it really is about education, Volk says.
Are you communicating during routine exams by describing health risks? Do you talk through the physical examination? Do you
describe the reason for blood work and why you are recommending it?
Almost all (95 percent) of veterinarians agree dogs and cats require at least one visit to a veterinarian each year. Another
72 percent believe wellness examinations are "the most important services they can provide." Sixty-five percent of veterinarians
believe their clientele do not value annual wellness exams.
The takeaway? Pet owners favor individualized annual wellness programs and monthly billing for routine wellness services,
the survey says.