As many veterinary professionals will concur, a healthy and happy pet begins with a solid and consistent training program. While general recommendations at the first wellness visit to your pet owner clients are helpful, they are often far less effective than offering a hands-on pet training and behavior modification program that starts at your practice and is followed up with at home. By adding behavior counseling as a service, you not only increase your bottom line with minimal investment; but also, solidify your brand as a caring neighborhood veterinary hospital that pet owners will return to again and again.
Upping Your Pet Behavior Game
Common pet behavior problems range from new puppy woes such as chewing and inappropriate urination, etc to adult dog barking and separation anxiety. Depending on when your clients come to you in the life of their pet, will determine what kind of behavioral services you can offer them. So, while making referrals to books, websites, and-in more advanced cases-local behavior specialists is routine practice; your clients, their pets, deserve more. By offering a more comprehensive behavior education at your practice, you could be upping the value you’re offering your clients by a mile.
Kirkland Pet Behavior Services
In Kirkland, Washington, Critter Doctor Animal Hospital, is doing just that. In fact, hands-on examples of behavior training in response to unwanted behavior such as biting, barking, or peeing are being performed by staff on a daily basis, along with initial comprehensive behavior assessments, customized plans, and follow-up. To which, the pets and pet owners of Critter Doctor gratefully reaping the benefits and singing their praises.
Behavior Modification: How to Offer More
As we all know, preventing behavior sooner than later, heads off potential incidents and worsening behavior, while making un-training previously-learned behavior easier on the pet owner. That said, how do you offer more-if you do not have the time to go after a behavior specialist certification? Here’s some ideas gleaned from our pet behavior experts in Kirkland that will help:
1. Show Them Some Videos: Send them a video, post it on your Facebook page, or include it in your website and email marketing; but make sure you are reminding them of the importance of training, what bad behavior is, and why they need to ask more from you. Even a fun video like this one will do the trick: http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/dogs-101/videos/puppy-training/.
2. Make the Initial Assessment Count: While listening to the pet owners’ concerns is a great step in the process of offering more of a behavior service, it shouldn’t end there. Find out the symptoms of the bad behavior, the history of the pet, and try to recreate situations where the behavior presents itself. Do so, and this will help you create a more customized plan for helping the owner train them to stop the negative behavior.
3.Always Schedule Follow-Up: Whether you offer a pet training or behavior class, or are just creating more personalized behavior training on a case by case basis; it’s vital to schedule a follow-up to ensure that, first, the pet owner knows there’s accountability; and second, to determine what the next steps in training are.
4. Schedule a Pet Behavior Class: I cannot speak to this enough, but scheduling pet care classes (even if it’s once a month or once every couple of months) will increase your value to the pet owner community dramatically. By extension, you will develop better relationships with your clients, improve the practice reputation, and make your own job easier by serving healthier, better behavior pet clients.
For more ideas on what you can do to increase the value of your practice and boost your bottom line, see 6 Veterinary Marketing Ideas to Try.