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AAHA, Merial launch consumer pet health campaign


Duluth, Ga.-The American Animal Hospital Association and Merial have teamed up to launch a new consumer education campaign on the importance of visiting the veterinarian.

Duluth, Ga.-The American Animal Hospital Association and Merialhave teamed up to launch a new consumer education campaign on the importanceof visiting the veterinarian.

The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that 27 milliondogs and cats are not taken to the veterinarian on a regular basis.

To help educate pet owners about the importance of visiting the veterinarianregularly, the campaign has been dubbed "For Healthy Pets, Visit theVet" consumer education campaign. The year-long initiative is designedto encourage pet owners to visit their veterinarian on a regular basis,so their pets can receive the best life-enhancing preventive medicine andrequired vaccinations, Merial reports.

With the arrival of spring and summer, cats and dogs will be spendingmore time outside, leaving them exposed to serious health threats posedby fleas, ticks and mosquitoes, including Lyme disease, heartworm diseaseand flea allergy dermatitis.

Pet owners cannot ignore the threats facing their dogs and cats, as onetick or mosquito bite can lead to serious health problems. According tothe latest survey on heartworm infestation incidence, there is a significantnumber of heartworm cases reported nationwide.

Marty Becker, DVM and veterinary contributor to ABC-TV's "Good MorningAmerica," explains, "Because we know the majority of pet ownerstreat their pet like a member of their family, they need to ensure its healthand longevity by establishing a relationship with their veterinarian asthey would establish a relationship with their pediatrician for their child."

Being a responsible pet owner means more than just loving your pets.As part of the For Healthy Pets, Visit the Vet campaign, an informationkit has been developed to better prepare pet owners for their visit to theveterinarian. The kit includes a list of questions to ask the veterinarian,veterinary visit record keeper, informational brochures and product coupons.Clients can call 866-ASK-VETS or visit www.healthypet.com. Additionally,Frontline and Heartgard will sponsor local market events across the countryto further educate pet owners about general pet healthcare and the benefitsof visiting the veterinarian.

Merial is also hosting the Picture of Perfect Pet Health Contest, whichwill appear in the June issue of Good Housekeeping. Pet owners are encouragedto submit the most adorable picture of their healthy pet and 50 words orless on why it is the Picture of Perfect Pet Health.

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