Putting Nutrition Into Practice—A Discussion of Pet Nutrition Recommendations, Compliance and Product Selection - Episode 7
Marketing tools for pet nutrition
Drs Cline and Saker discuss the different ways veterinary practices can market to clients of all ages to help promote better nutrition in patients.
Adam Christman, DVM, MBA: So I want to ask you about marketing tools because there are so many now that are out there: social media, websites, emails, flyers, educational pieces. What do you think works well to have just great discussions about pet nutrition?
Martha Cline, DVM, Diplomate ACVN: So it's important to realize a lot of people are going to receive information in different ways. And so we often utilize social media in our practice and use that as a way to reinforce certain concepts to clients that we want them to see and to be aware of and educated about. Sometimes that's going to involve things like email blasts off to the clients as well. So those are the primary ways that we're trying to market in our own practice.
Korinn Saker, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVN: I think we use it all. I think it depends on who your clients are. I think if they're part of the older generation, then they're not really that savvy and not interested in using a lot of social media. And so they're the ones who would like the written paper handed to them. And we have a lot of...a lot of pamphlets that we've created about nutrition in every kind of disease state that nutrition can manage. And, you know, we print it off and, you know, hand it to them. And it focuses in on the key nutrients, diet choices, and other things like that. But then we have, you know, a lot of clients who are obviously in the younger generation, and they like to see things. They...we do videos, we do...we do little blogs and things like that, that they can access to get more information. And when we do a nutrition console, that's for the animal that's outside of the hospital, we put those those those references, they can go and look up those that information that that we've created at our school, but a lot of it is oftentimes based on the the tools and resources that pet food companies give us to start out with.
Adam Christman, DVM, MBA: Yeah.
Korinn Saker, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVN: Which is nice, because you know, we don't always have all the media savvy that we need to have to make that happen.
Adam Christman, DVM, MBA: Cuz you need it. I would think you need a conversation piece somewhere to start with, and, you know, body condition score charts, right? Whether it be the one to five, or one through nine. I'm sure you have something, right?
Korinn Saker, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVN: Yeah, yeah, for sure.
Adam Christman, DVM, MBA: And it's like, it's interesting to see what a pet parent finds as a body condition score versus what the veterinarian perceives, and you try to like understand and show the "why" where there might be some discrepancies, I'm sure, as an example, right?
Korinn Saker, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVN: We've created a really cool program on the computer that the client can actually look at, while they're kind of playing...while they're waiting, you know, in the exam room or outside the exam room before they get into there, that basically shows their pets shrinking and growing, based on what they're feeding. And so, you know, and then putting a body condition score to that, which is really fun. And then there's also another tool, and you maybe have access to it as well, that is basically just this...long, rectangular kind of tool that has different...it's covered with material in all the different body condition scores. And has, either there's going to be some foam under the different ones so that they can see when you're...they can feel it. They can feel like a body condition score of three versus five versus eight versus nine, just by palpating that. And it's a really good thing to have them go through that with them while they're in the exam room so that when they go home, and they're helping monitor weight gain or weight loss, they can...they had something to visualize that with.
Adam Christman, DVM, MBA: Right. It's fantastic.
Martha Cline, DVM, Diplomate ACVN: Yeah I have that tool in my exam room. So you know, when we're looking at the hand, we want the ribs to feel like the back of our hand. And so I'll use that often as a way to explain to clients what the rib should feel like, compared to if you flip the palm over, you can't feel these bones. And we don't want the ribs to feel like that in our pets.
Korinn Saker, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVN: And there's another silly tool that we use sometimes for muscle mass, because anymore in the last, maybe four or five years, muscle conditioning has been another part of nutritional assessment that we're trying to get the students and the veterinarians to be more aware of. And so you can use your face and use, you know, if you smile really big this is like adequate muscling, and, you know, go to different parts of your face and you can feel what it feels like to push down and get to bone before you have to work through a lot of muscle and skin. So that's always fun too.
Adam Christman, DVM, MBA: Yeah, that is cool. I like that.