Q: How can I find the perfect pet for my client's lifestyle?
When clients are interested in pet adoption, how can I make sure they find the perfect fit for their lifestyle?
Most people spend more time picking out a vehicle than they do picking out a pet, says Dr. Marty Becker, Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member and author of Your Dog: The Owner's Manual (Grand Central Life & Style, 2011). "Pets are an impulse buy," he says. "You should talk to clients about what they want." The person's housing situation, lifestyle, and budget are the most important factors to consider. Here are some questions you can ask:
> How much time will you have to spend with the pet?
> Does your landlord allow pets? Will there be any extra rent fees?
> How big is your yard?
> How much are you willing to spend on grooming costs?
> What activities are you hoping to do with your pet?
> Do you own any other pets?
> Do you have any small children or elderly people living with you?
> Do you or your family members have any pet allergies?
Ask your clients which type of breeds they're most interested in and educate them on the lifestyle of each. Dalmatians, for example, are runners; retrievers need companionship; and toy dogs get enough exercise inside. "Remember, there are two kinds of lap dogs—a dog that will run laps and a dog that will sit on your lap," Dr. Becker says. "It's your job to find out which kind of pet your client wants."