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Consumer campaign unveiled at AVMA promotes 'annual checkups' to pet owners


Partners for Healthy Pets introduces public information campaign to stress the importance of preventive care.

It’s no secret that veterinary clients don’t understand the value of preventive healthcare. But what if they saw it as essential to responsible pet ownership—like as important as food and love? That’s the goal of the new $5.5 million campaign sponsored by Partners for Healthy Pets (PHP)—a group of combined forces including the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and more than 90 veterinary organizations across the map.

The public information campaign, introduced to the veterinary profession at the AVMA’s annual conference in Chicago on July 18, urges pet owners to schedule annual checkups for their cats and dogs. It features two advertisements, one featuring a dog and the other a cat. Both animals are wearing a collar with a “special care instructions” tag that reads:

1. Feed daily

2. Yearly checkups

3. Love forever

The campaign will primarily target urban and suburban women ages 32 to 49 who already have a relationship with a veterinarian but who are not regularly seeking preventive care. This target female consumer has an average household income of more than $75,000 and is willing to pay for her pet’s needs (and indulgences), spending 20 percent to 25 percent more than the average pet owner on their pets.

The campaign will launch in early September, then run throughout the remainder of 2013 and all of 2014.

In addition to the consumer outreach efforts, the program will offer a veterinary practice enrollment program where clinics can support and participate in the campaign by signing up at partnersforhealthypets.org. Once enrolled, these practices will receive educational materials for their clinics and their websites, along with monthly updates on the campaign’s progress and additional resources.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity for the veterinary care community,” says Ron DeHaven, DVM, chief executive officer of the AVMA and chairman of the partnership. “It’s a platform for all of us to communicate the importance of preventive care to pet owners, to enhance the relationships we share with them, and ultimately to deliver even higher quality preventive care.”

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