Trigger points: What prompts pet owners to take action?
Have you ever wondered what it is that finally gets that pet owner to pick up the phone and call your veterinary hospital? Or what makes the difference between a question, appointment request and sheer panic? The Merck-Unfenced Pet Owner Paths research, which looks at the steps pet owners take when making decisions about their pets’ health, has taken some of the mystery out of it.
Researchers asked pet owners about specific clinical signs they might observe and what their response would be—the results are at right. Shades of blue represent those responses where you’re not involved; shades of red and pink mean you are involved—the darker the red, the more intense the response seeking a veterinary team’s involvement.
Some interesting highlights: For dog owners, a gut feeling that something is wrong or vomiting or diarrhea more than once in 24 hours drives the most intense response—in other words, dog owners are most likely to take their pet to an emergency clinic in these scenarios. For cat owners, limping is the most likely thing to trigger a trip to the ER or get a veterinarian involved. And finally, notice how wide those medium-blue “Research online” bars are for cat owners compared with dog owners?