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3 tips to talk about natural products with pet owners


Learn how to respond when clients ask about natural products for their pets.

Your appointment arrives and you hear the other technicians chuckling together, "Did you see the garlic cloves tied all over him?" "Oh well, at least you'll be safe from vampires!" You sigh and head up to get Mrs. Thisisnaturalandsafe into the exam room. She says she read garlic is a safe alternative to all of those toxic chemicals that are recommended nowadays. What do you do to guide Mrs. Thisisnaturalandsafe?

1 First of all, don't laugh. Listen to her. She is concerned about toxicity of ingredients. She loves her pup and wants him protected and she's willing to do what is necessary. We need to acknowledge that.

2 Next, educate this pet owner to make choices with your team. Angie Reaves, head technician at VCA Seaside Animal Hospital in Calabash, N.C., says to explain not all natural items are safe for pets. For example, think grapes.

3 Finally guide her to an appropriate, safe alternative. "There are safe green products available for flea protection through her veterinarian," Reaves says. "Once she knows about these items she will feel more comfortable using them."

This threefold approach of listening, educating and then guiding your client to the product that will meet her pet's needs in the safest fashion is essential for client compliance.

Julie Mullins is a Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member and lead trainer at Doggone Healthy in Calabash, N.C.

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