Thomas E. Catanzaro, DVM, MHA, FACHE, Diplomate American College of Healthcare Executives
Over half the Americans took their dog with them on vacation in 1999. After 9-11, 29% of the American families changed from air travel vacation to recreation vehicle vacations (many taking their pet with them). Most veterinarians appear not to care. They do not ask about pet travel, either with new clients or with existing clients. This is called, not bonding with your clients. Ask yourself these questions:
Did I ask where the new client where the pet geographically came from?
Did I ask about current vacation plans and the pet's destiny?
What do I know about Valley Fever (important for "snow bird" clients)?
What do I know about Lyme Disease incidence in other areas?
What do we know about asymptomatic Giardia (Beaver Fever)?
What do I know about Salmon Disease if they travel to the Northwest?
What should I do for Bordetella with traveling pets?
What are the Tularemia (Rabbit Fever) dangers for hunting dogs?
Did I tell my clients about the parasite prevention portion of the new heartworm preventatives?
Have I discussed the strategic deworming protocols of the CDC web site with my clients?
What is the current medication protocol for motion sickness?
What is the preferred tranquilization method for traveling cats or dogs?
We have always recommended a veterinary practice build a flyer of local precautions from threats and dangers of parasites and diseases of the community, and provide it to their new clients. Now we are recommending that the caring veterinary practice build a flyer of "traveling with your pet" precautions, addressing the National threats and dangers of parasites and diseases common in other areas of this country. Brochure building information can be found in the Blackwell Publishing text, Building The Successful Veterinary Practice: Innovation & Creativity (Volume 3); send your staff into the fray to build a client-friendly information booklet/flyer (including your web site practice page).