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Help veterinary clients complete a diet trial
Don't let clients unknowingly sabotage their pets' diet trials. Stress the importance of at-home compliance.
You: A food allergy may be what's causing your pet's skin problem. To find out what food or ingredient is the culprit, we're going to need you to commit to the diet trial. Can you do that?
Client: Why can't I just switch Charlie to another brand of pet food?
You: That wouldn't work because many pet foods include the same ingredients. Besides, it may not be Charlie's dog food that's causing the problem. It could be anything—like table scraps, treats, or the flavoring in his heartworm medication or toothpaste. That's why you need to follow this diet exclusively and make sure all family members and friends know that he's following a special diet. The trial won't work if the diet's not followed as directed, which means Charlie will be uncomfortable for an even longer time.
Client: What if I forget and give him a treat?
You: Make a note of any slip ups and adverse reactions and bring them in for your follow-up visit in two weeks. And don't get discouraged. Diet trials take time and work. You'll most likely have to change a lot of your routines. For example, you may want to keep Charlie out of the kitchen so he doesn't eat any dropped food. If you normally hid his pills in food, you'll need to hide them only in the prescribed diet now. Like I said, we need you to be committed. It may take six to eight weeks before you see any improvement in Charlie's skin, but his welfare is well worth the wait.