Promoting Senior Care in the Veterinary Practice

Practices with a focus on senior care can promote their expertise through their practice website and social media. Topics can include mobility issues, cognition changes, chronic pain, elimination behavior and incontinence, and changes in hearing and vision. Information on common diseases that clients may see in their senior pet, along with the common clinical signs, could be provided on the website or social media. Home tips, product recommendations, videos, and pictures of what the chronic or terminal disease might look like and when to visit the veterinarian may also be added.

The hospital website should promote what the practice does differently for senior pets. For example, longer appointments, special flooring, and assistance with getting the pet in and out of the car are all valued services the practice can add to the senior care experience. Videos of the changes the hospital has made to become senior friendly may also be a good addition to the website. An end-of-life care section can be developed that may include a QOL assessment, pain management with validated tools, information about caregiver burden, and pet loss and grief resources. Clinic websites often focus on puppy and kitten pictures—a practice can stand out as senior friendly by ensuring that senior pets make up at least 30% of the visual content of the hospital’s website.

The 2023 AAHA Senior Care Guidelines for Dogs and Cats are generously supported by Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, CareCredit, IDEXX, and Zoetis.

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