It's every pet owner's worst nightmare - there's an emergency happening and suddanly, in the midst of it all, they've been separated from their pet.
Saturday, May 13, 2017 is National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day. It's important for pet owners to have a plan in place for the whole family, including pets, in the case of an emergency or disaster. From storing food and water properly to pet first aid supplies, it's better to have a plan in place and never need it rather than scramble to find what you need as it's happening.
VHA has put together a downloadable checklist of things your client's can utilize to help them be prepared. It includes:
- Food & Water: Have enough food and water for three to five days. Keep your food in an airtight container and rotate every three months to ensure freshness. If you feed canned food, include a manual can opener. Don’t forget bowls!
- Medication and Medical Records: Keep your pets updated medication and medical records in a waterproof container. Also include photographs of you and your pet to prove ownership.
- Pet First-Aid Kit: In addition to a standard first-aid kit, you should also include a nylon leash, self-cling bandages, pet carrier, muzzle, and a pillowcase to confine your cat if needed.
- Have a Plan: Research pet-friendly hotels or kennels where your pet will stay in case of an evacuation, or exchange information with neighbors, friends, or family and set up a plan in the event that they need to evacuate your pets for you (or you for them).
- Microchip: Ensure your pet is microchipped and that the registration is up-to-date. It’s the easiest and quickest way to be reuinted with your pet in case of a separation due to any emergency or disaster.
Help your client's become prepared today by downloading and distributing this complimentary checklist today!
The Minnesota Valley Pet Hospital is a full service veterinary medical facility located in Mankato, MN. Our professional and courteous staff seeks to provide the best possible medical, surgical, and dental care for our patients.
Dr. Abby Coodin, owner of Painted Sky Veterinary Services in Amery, WI; Dr. Jami Stromberg, owner of Brooklyn Park Pet Hospital in Brooklyn Park, MN; and Dr. Steven Olson, owner of East Lake Animal Clinic in Minneapolis, MN, will join the VHA Board of Directors and provide their experience and expertise in guiding the association.
“Having a range of doctors in ages and whose interests range vary from providing quality home care to exotic and small animal care to specialized surgery is truly an asset to our Board of Directors and association,” stated VHA Executive Director Jeff Benson. “We are better able to meet the needs of our members, who’s similar interests and goals are represented through the individuals on our board.”
The three newly elected board members join Dr. Speltz as well as Vice-President Dr. Scott Murphy, Treasurer Dr. Carissa Williamson, Secretary Dr. Anna Ruelle, and Directors Dr. Tom Skadron and Dr. Cynthia Fetzer.
Drs. Coodin, Stromberg, and Olson are replacing the vacant seats left by Dr. Ann Fischer and Dr. Nikki Burk, whose term limits had been reached.
About Veterinary Hospitals Association
Established in 1984, Veterinary Hospitals Association (VHA) is a member-driven association organized to represent the interests of members and the veterinary community. VHA currently serves more than 400 veterinary practices. The goal of VHA is to enhance the profitability of each member practice by positively impacting its bottom line. With member involvement, VHA will continue to offer services that either save money or make money for all members. Follow VHA on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Veterinary Hospitals Association
St. Boni Pet Hospital is a full service animal hospital. We see patients in need of routine medical, surgical, and dental care. Our team is committed to educating our clients in how to keep your pets healthy year round, with good nutrition and exercise. St. Boni Pet Hospital stays on top of the latest advances in veterinarian technology and above all, remembers that all animals and pets need to be treated with loving care in every check-up, procedure, or surgery.
Small Town Veterinary Practice is a family-owned companion animal veterinary clinic that specializes in providing professional service in a small-town atmosphere. We are just a short drive from both the Twin Cities and Duluth/Superior, right in the heart of Wisconsin cabin country. Our state-of-the-art practice boasts digital radiology, wellness packages, prescription mailing service and a comprehensive in house laboratory. We are looking for an experienced Veterinarian to join our team and help us continue to serve the pets and people of our community. If you have strong client communication skills and a passion for doing the best for your patients, we would love to discuss this opportunity with you.
White Bluff Veterinary Hospital is looking for a Full Time Veterinary Technician to join their staff. The individual must have excellent customer service skills, must want to excel in his or her daily job, and must have compassion for our patients and clients.
VCA Animal Wellness Center is AAHA accredited and committed to providing Fear Free veterinary visits using low-stress handling techniques. We are currently hiring for a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT). CVT duties include a wide variety of tasks including but not limited to: client communication, animal handling and restraint, surgical assisting, radiology, laboratory sample collection and processing, dentistry and general record keeping.
Your veterinary team is extremely busy, from running the front desk and seeing patients to performing lifesaving surgery and educating pet parents. Add the stress of researching and putting together the most basic marketing plan, and your team can quickly become overwhelmed.
We put together the 2017 Unique Holiday Calendar for Veterinary Clinics. If you haven’t downloaded it, it’s recommended as the rest of this post ties directly into it. The 12-month calendar lists fun, unique, and bizarre animal-related holidays that veterinary clinics can market around. We are taking that one step further and outlining a basic marketing plan you can step-and-repeat with any and all of the holiday’s listed in the calendar.
Offer a Special Promotion
For months with themes, such as National Heartworm Awareness Month for April or Lyme Disease Prevention Month for May, offer promotions to entice new clients and those clients who rarely visit to make appointments. Using April as an example, you could offer heartworm prevention discounts or buying in on promotions (buy 6 months, get 15% off 6 months) or tie in with a service, such as a discount on preventatives when the client has a complete heartworm screening performed.
Once you’ve determined the holidays you’re going to celebrate and/or the promotions you’re going to run, create several different graphics using a service like Canva or Pablo. You will use these graphics through all your marketing pieces, so it’s important to have a few different ones so audiences don’t see the same one repeatedly and tune out. Select easy-to-read fonts, complimentary colors, a fun pet-related image, and to-the-point wording for the graphic.
Continuing our plan for National Heartworm Awareness Month for April, a timely, educational blog is a very effective marketing tool for your veterinary clinic. Not only does it add new content to your website, it can also be shared across other marketing vehicles such as emails, social media, and as handouts in your clinic.
Blogging doesn’t need to be an exhaustive effort, either. A brief 400 to 600-word blog with important information and statistics is more than sufficient, and can easily be reached following a simple outline:
- What is a heartworm?
- Why is heartworm prevention important?
- Who is at risk to be infected by heartworms?
- How do pets become infected with heartworm?
- How do owners determine if their pets are infected?
- Call-to-action to visit your clinic to take advantage of your promotion during April (example: Call today to schedule your appointment to save big on heartworm prevention. Hurry, the promotion ends April 31, 2017!)
If you’re considering adding photos to your blog posts, use your best judgement when doing so. While you’re used to seeing surgical procedures and other aspects of veterinary care, not everyone who reads your blog is. If you plan on using photos of patients, whether on your website, social media, or email, ensure you have the consent of the owner (in writing, preferably).
Your promotion is ready and blog written, now you need to get your information out to the masses. One tactic is through email marketing. One step in your patient check-in procedure should include asking the client for their email address. Not only can you send them helpful appointment reminders but the occasional email from the clinic, such as sharing money-saving events – both of which most clients will be interested in receiving.
Utilizing a service like ePetHealth, MailChimp, or Constant Contact will help you create an email quickly and professionally. Once again, email marketing doesn’t have to be exhaustive if you follow a simple formula:
- Header (like your clinic logo, photo of your clinic waiting room, etc.)
- A brief paragraph with any news or updates about the clinic.
- A graphic showcasing the month’s promotion with a brief description.
- Hyperlink the graphic to your blog post with a CTA to learn more in the description.
- A call-to-action to take advantage of the promotion (example: Call to schedule your appointment to take advantage of this limited-time promotion!)
You have the holiday selected, a promotion created, and a blog published. Now it’s time to share it all on your social media! Don’t feel like you must share everything at once; spread out the information over the month (it’s why having several graphics on hand will be beneficial). Consider a spaced out posting schedule:
- Graphic and announcement on the 1st of the month
- Blog on the 7th
- Graphic on the 14th
- Last-minute reminder on the 28th of the month
That way you’re spreading out your points of activation across the entire month, reaching followers each time with a different message with the goal to bring them into your clinic. If you’re not already using a social media management tool, consider HootSuite, Buffer, or DrumUp.
Not everyone is signed up for your email list or regularly checks your website for new blog posts. To reach these individuals, consider printing out your blog post to hand out to clients in your clinic. If your blog is long without bullet points, consider condensing and adding points to make it easier to scan and read.
If you’re looking for pre-made client handouts, continue to check back on our blog as we will be producing regular handouts for specific months, like Heat Awareness in June! Or sign up for our email newsletter to receive an update as soon as they’re available for download.
Our veterinary hospital is proud to offer comprehensive medical and surgical services for dogs and cats, as well as specific services for birds, ferrets, rabbits and rodents. Our Promise to Our Team Members: We promise to create a work environment where each and every team member has the opportunity to grow personally and professionally and to maximize their potential. We promise to create a work environment where team members are respected and take deep pride in their jobs and in the hospital. We want our team members to look forward to coming to work each and every day.