VMX 2020—Stop telling your veterinary clients their pet is fat
A pet obesity expert shares tips and strategies on how to best approach this potentially uncomfortable topic. (Hint: Don't use the "f" word.)
Telling your veterinary clients that their pet is overweight is no easy task. In fact, Alex German, BVSc, PhD, DECVIM-CA, SFHEA, MRCVS, professor of small animal medicine at the University of Liverpool, says talking about obesity is a major problem among veterinarians.
“I think that’s the number one challenge that veterinarians face," Professor German told dvm360 at this year’s Veterinary Meeting & Expo (VMX), held this week in Orlando, Fla. "The biggest problem: We don’t talk about it,” he said. So, the first step is mustering the courage to discuss it.
Not sure how to get the conversation started? Professor German offers these tips:
- Avoid blaming the owner, and "park your prejudices ... at the door."
- Avoid toxic terms like “fat” and “obese.”
- Talk about body condition scores with the owner instead of talking about “obesity."
For more tips from Prof. German about discussing overweight pets with clients, watch the video below.