A year-round plan for breed-based marketing
Kathryn Primm, DVM, owns Applebrook Animal Hospital in Ooltewah, Tennessee, but has a growing career as a writer, a speaker and an online voice for veterinarians and pet owners alike.
Hey, what's it like outside today? Combine the season with dog breed considerations for a fantastic fusion of healthcare reminders for your veterinary clients.
I love, I love, I love my little calendar dog-every day of the year! (Shutterstock)
In Room 1 is a dachshund with a sore back.
In the treatment area is a schnauzer with rotten teeth.
And up next? A golden retriever with an ear infection.
Sounds familiar, right? Yes, we veterinarians and veterinary team members are all readily aware that certain diseases are overrepresented in certain breeds. And your hospital's canine patients are all made up of certain breeds, whether full or only parts. So, how do you tap into what you know and make life better for your patients and your bottom line? Use your veterinary software to set up follow-up reminders based on a pet's breed (and history, if you have it). Select seasonal issues to help you have something brewing all year long. A simple call or email to clients can show that you care on a personal level and that you are knowledgeable about their dogs' breed.
January and February: Start off with a smile
Reach out to the breeds at risk of dental disease, such as schnauzers and dachshunds. At my practice, we start in at age 3 to plant the seeds and habits that will lead to better and lifelong dental health. Bonus! January could be a time to promote DNA testing, so that you can reach out even more when you find out what breeds are in your patients' genetic profile!
March and April: Scratch that impending itch
This is the start of allergy season for us here in Tennessee. Your own region might require some tweaking on timing, but you get the idea. Some breeds are certainly at greater risk for allergic itching. Encourage preemptive medication and client education by reaching out. You can encourage starting antihistamines ahead of time and discuss anything new.
June, July and August: Catch a breath in all that hot air
Hot weather has arrived, and everyone needs to be reminded that brachycephalic breeds are at a greater risk of heat stroke. You can explain preventive ideas and warning signs to watch for.
September and October: Alleviate overarching aches
Falling temperatures mean breeds that have orthopedic issues definitely need pain management, because arthritic pain can worsen in the cold weather.
November and December: Mobilize those couch potatoes
It's the time of year for eating and lying around-for people and pets! You might contact owners with dogs predisposed to obesity or hypothyroidism. Ask questions about their dogs and explain that you're planning ahead for their healthy future. Don't forget those dachshunds on this one. Obesity is a risk factor for intervertebral disk disease too.
Your calendar of success
By spending a little time reaching out, you can bond clients to your practice using your own knowledge and personal concern for their dogs and their health risks. With a little forethought, you could make your veterinary practice truly a breed apart.
Kathryn Primm, DVM, owns Applebrook Animal Hospital in Ooltewah, Tennessee.