Prepare Pet Owners for the Unexpected

May 8th is National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day and it has us wondering—in the face of a pet care emergency, will your clients be ready? Sure, the last thing anyone wants to think about is an unexpected disaster, but taking certain precautions can help pet owners stay calm in a crisis. Even the smallest preparatory measures can drastically improve emergency patient outcomes, or avoid the need for high-risk emergency care entirely.
So what can you do to encourage your clients to think about preventive care for emergency situations? We’ve compiled five practical ways your veterinary practice can help pet owners prepare for the unexpected—check them out below!

Prioritize seasonal preventive care

We talk about the importance of preventive care a lot on the LifeLearn veterinary blog because it’s an essential facet of client education. After all, how can pet owners better care for their furry friends without being fully aware of potential threats to pet health? That’s why we encourage veterinary practices to get serious about seasonal preventive care campaigns.
To get started, meet pet owners where they’re already looking for advice—online. Use your veterinary social media to connect with clients and share educational blog posts, videos, and the occasional witty pet meme. Bear in mind, you don’t want to scare pet owners into preventive care so try to spread your message with a positive spin.

Illustrate basic first-aid for pets

How many times have you treated patients with minor injuries that could have been dealt with more swiftly if only the client had knowledge of first-aid? Teaching pet owners basic first-aid can help save pet lives until they can reach a veterinarian. Plus, sharing these skills can eliminate the need for clients to turn to Dr. Google for potentially inaccurate and dangerous advice.
By sharing how-to videos on your website and social platforms, you can cover a variety of first-aid topics like how to handle choking, how to stop a bleed, how to apply a bandage, and more.
Worried about encouraging Do-it-Yourself veterinary care? Imagine this: a pet owner has implemented their first-aid training, but their pet is still in rough shape. Now what? WebDVM’s Pet Health Checker allows clients to visit your website and input concerning pet symptoms. The results help identify risks to pet health and encourage pet owners to visit your practice for further treatment. We call that a win-win!

Encourage emergency pet care kits

Knowing what to do in the face of a pet emergency means nothing without the supplies needed for the task, so advocate for clients to create emergency pet care kits. These handy kits can include everything from pet-safe bandages for cuts and injury to septic powder for nail trimming accidents. Create your own based on must-have items at your clinic, or browse pre-made lists like this one for inspiration.
Remember, not all emergencies revolve around pet accidents and illnesses. Pet owners can use these kits to prepare for floods, fires, and other natural disasters they may encounter. Encourage at-risk clients to set aside adequate pet food, medications, blankets, and leashes to grab in case of an urgent evacuation. In the stress of the moment, it can be difficult to think straight about what supplies are needed for ourselves… let alone our pets, so emergency supply kits like these can be a huge relief.

Identify the benefits of microchipping

In many emergency evacuation situations, it’s unfortunately quite common to get separated from one’s pets in the process of seeking shelter if no pet-friendly options are available. Beyond that, millions of pets go missing even under ordinary circumstances; microchipping is the best way to minimize the threat of losing a pet forever.
Given that May is also National Chip Your Pet Month, it’s the perfect time for your veterinary practice to remind pet owners how important microchipping is for protecting pets from getting lost and separated from your family for life.

Provide alternate after-hours pet care options

Nobody thinks the worst will ever happen to them, but when a pet goes missing, gets seriously injured or deathly ill, pet owners need somewhere to turn—even after-hours. If your veterinary practice doesn’t offer 24/7 clinic hours, be sure to provide clients with contact information for a trusted emergency pet hospital in your area.
Partner with local clinics to ensure a seamless extension of your quality of care. That way, you can rest assured knowing that your patients will receive the best possible treatment in case of an emergency.
Expect the unexpected, and you’ll be ready for anything pet care throws your way.

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