What Risks Do We Need to Fight To Prevent Pet Poisoning?

“Flea” from ticks

Ticks are not only uncomfortable to look at, but carry many diseases.

Blood-sucking arachnids probably don’t top the list of typical dinner conversation topics. Instead, most pet owners approach fleas and ticks on a need-to-know basis only. No infestation, no worries… right?

The problem is, ignorance isn’t always bliss—in fact, it can actually lead to an infestation. Client education, on the other hand, can help prevent one. So this flea and tick season, consider kicking off an educational campaign at your veterinary practice. You can share “Did You Know” flea and tick facts on your social media accounts and take advantage of the seasonal opportunity to invite clients to your clinic for preventive treatments.

Beat the heat

heat, hot summer and a dog

Spring temperatures may not rival those of summer, but the heat still poses several health risks for pets. Given that dogs, for example, prioritize having fun outdoors overtaking things slow, dehydration and heatstroke are all too common. For clients focused on keeping their pets active, it can be difficult to notice the signs of overheating.

Posting the warning signs of heatstroke on social media or sending out email blasts can help spread the word about warm weather risks to keep pet owners informed. Remember, client education can be fun too—so be sure to include fun tips to keep the puppy hydrated, active, and cool all season long.

Poison patrol

Transitional seasons like spring often bring about new and exciting plant life for curious pets to explore. As the temperature rises, pets risk exposure to a variety of toxic plants, flowers, and even seasonal foods—some more obvious to pet owners than others. So what’s the best way to keep pet owners in the loop on pet poison?

Your veterinary blog can be a major asset here, allowing you to disseminate critical information about seemingly ordinary plants and food items that clients may not realize are dangerous for their pets. This sort of thing is done often around the holidays, so there’s no reason it won’t be just as successful for making the most of the great outdoors in warm weather. After all, avoidance is the best form of poison control!

Snakes, coyotes, and bears

Depending on where your clinic calls home, local pets could encounter a variety of potentially dangerous animals while out on walks, at the dog park, or even in their own backyard. Will your clients know how to handle these situations?

While you want to avoid frightening pet owners, it can be helpful to do a brief roundup of local risk species in your area. You can spread the word on social media and provide educational handouts at the office to raise awareness of potential bite, fight, and disease exposure risks.

Together, let’s make this season safer and healthier for pets by implementing these simple, yet effective client education strategies at your veterinary practice.

Heartworm Prevention for Pets

Less Than Half of U.S. Dog Owners Regularly Buy Heartworm Preventives

According to the American Heartworm Society, less than half of U.S. dog owners regularly buy heartworm preventives, and lack of awareness is a big reason. According to Veterinary Practice News, dog owners simply don’t know they should.

Compounding this, heartworm disease is spreading. A few examples:

  • Recently, the Companion Animal Parasite Group (CAPC) reported that U.S. heartworm infections continue to increase in number, with the greatest number of cases in the southeastern U.S. and Mississippi River Valley. Yet the CAPC notes on its heartworm page that “cases are appearing with increasing frequency in traditionally low-prevalence areas such as California, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado.”
  • In an August 2020 article by the AVMA, Chris Duke, DVM and president of the American Heartworm Society, also cited California as a state with rising heartworm numbers, as well as Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Minneapolis, and small cities in Oklahoma.
  • On Feb. 9th, 2021, Pet Parasite Forecasts showed high heartworm disease infection risks across the U.S. west coast and in interior states like Kansas, Nebraska, and North Dakota.

Download Our Free Heartworm Awareness Kit

Given the continuing pressures and workflow challenges faced by veterinary practices, download our free Heartworm Awareness Kit to save time, increase efficiency, and strengthen your veterinary team’s role as animal health educators.

Available for a limited time, our kit includes:

An infographic with heartworm prevention tips for clients.

An educational handout for clients—Heartworm Disease: Synopsis of a ClientEd Handout—that you can print and hand to clients at curbside or send by email.

Three social media images ready to post on Facebook to further educate your clients about the importance of heartworm prevention.

Need a hand getting in touch with pet owners? ALLYDVM’s customizable client communications make it easy to set up automated text, email or postcard reminders when it’s time for a checkup.

Download your free kit