How should you tell veterinary clients their pets are overweight?


Veterinary Economics' team shares their personal thoughts.

It's easy to forget one of the first lessons learned in school-other people also have feelings! Communicating with clients is a minefield, and it's easy to offend them by saying the wrong thing. Many clients could be sensitive about their pets' weight. We asked our team members how they would want their veterinarian to tell them their pet was obese, and here are their responses:

Jenny Shaffstall - eMedia Metrics Analyst

"It's not about how they say the words, 'Your dog needs to lose weight.' I already knew that Scout, my rat terrier, needed to lose weight because he looked like a fat sausage with legs. What I needed was practical advice. Instead, my veterinarian left it up to me to figure out how much my dog should be eating each day."

(Left to right) Scout and Fergie


Alison Fulton - Senior Content Specialist

"I would like them to say something like, 'I know you love Beau and it's hard to deny him treats. When you rescued him, he was starving, poor guy. But now, it would be better for his health and he would live longer if he could lose the extra weight he is carrying.'"



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