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Episode 47: Tips for triaging behavior recommendations for overwhelmed clients


On this episode of The Vet Blast Podcast, Dr Christman is joined by Dr Chris Pachel as they discuss some helpful nuggets for communicating with on-edge clients about behavior recommendations.

Due to the constant uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many people, including your clients, are emotionally overwhelmed. When an anxious pet owner steps into your clinic, offering behavior recommendations can feel like a daunting task, especially when you’re strapped for time.

On this episode of The Vet Blast Podcast veterinary behavioralist Chris Pachel, DVM, DACVB, CABC, says the best way to approach these clients is by asking them what advice would be most meaningful.

“To me, this is such an important detail for us to nail down because I can give 300 resources, but the average client doesn’t have the time, bandwidth, or the comprehension to make sense of all that information without some guidance,” he tells Adam Christman, DVM, MBA.

Find out if clients are looking for a referral to a trainer? Or maybe, they just want you to listen to their concerns and devote extra time to correcting a certain behavior. Overall, finding out what matters most to the client in that given moment in time will help ease anxiety and save time for everyone.

For clients who struggle with communicating or aren’t sure what they’re looking for, Pachel recommends showing them a video, handing them a handout, and connecting them with a technician and/or trainer who can best address their current situation, instead of going through 20 to 30 minutes of dialogue and recommendations.

“Chances are neither you nor the client has the time, so we triage it just like we do everything else,” he says.

Listen below for more on triaging behavior recommendations and pet behavior modification advice.

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