VHMA Files: Do pet owners have test anxiety?


You recommend tests, but do clients heed your advice?

The Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA) recently surveyed 190 managers to uncover the top three things practices emphasize during their wellness exams-and where practices see the most compliance (see below).


The link between client actions and veterinary recommendations isn't a strong one. Eighty-nine percent of respondents attributed low compliance to financial issues. But 75 percent speculated that clients don't comply because they don't understand the importance of the recommended tests or services.

Respondants reported clients often ignore recommendations for premium veterinary diets and dentistry. Follow-through rates for these recommendations were low: 27 percent said that clients complied with premium diet advice and 44 percent indicated clients were compelled by dental care recommendations. 

Clients are more likely to follow through on tests and services related to conditions covered by the media. For example, for the past 30 years, canine distemper slowly declined as the public responded to the call for pet vaccinations.

The correlation between compliance and public awareness underscores the importance of explaining to clients why you recommend any tests or services for their pet. To make good decisions, clients need good information.

Christine Shupe, CAE, is the executive director of the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association. The association is dedicated to serving professionals in veterinary management through education, certification and networking. 

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