What To Say To Clients
Introduce or remind the client about the importance of life stage wellness and preventive care.
Example: “Preventive care gives your dog the best chance for a long and healthy life. At our hospital, we recommend care based on the life stage of your dog. Based on your dog’s age and breed, your dog falls into the [ ] stage.”
Suggestion: When the client makes the initial appointment, describe life stage wellness care and mention the procedures that might be recommended for their pet.
Show the client the specific checklist you will use for their dog, and explain how you will use the checklist.
Example: “Preventive care also varies based on your dog’s lifestyle and the part of the country where we live. So that we can tailor your dog’s health care to his needs, I’d like to ask some questions about his lifestyle. When we’re finished we’ll discuss a plan for today and for subsequent visits. What are your questions so far?”
Suggestion: Provide the client with a history form to fill out prior to the appointment. The form should ask questions about all the categories in the life stage guidelines.
Begin going over the history questions on the checklist
Example: “We’ll start with questions about your dog’s medical history and lifestyle. Once we go over these questions, then I’ll [or, the doctor will] perform a physical exam. We consider you a partner in your dog’s care, and your input is really valuable. So thank you for taking the time to go over this with us. Let’s get started…[begin questions]”
Suggestion: If the client has filled out a history form, then review the questions with the client in the room, asking about ambiguous areas.
Perform the physical exam.
Discuss any abnormal findings from the history or the exam, or congratulate the client on having a healthy pet.
Example: “Your dog seems very healthy today. Congratulations on doing such a good job! His weight is good, so keep up the exercise and remember not to feed too many table scraps. From what you said about travel, we should discuss his vaccination program and parasite control, to be sure he’s protected against any diseases you may encounter. Also, his teeth show some buildup of tartar. He’s due for a dental exam and cleaning so we can schedule that today.” Discuss additional recommended testing or procedures.
Determine which items may be performed today and which might be performed at a subsequent visit.
Example: “Because your dog is in the senior age group, we recommend doing blood and urine tests. These tests will hopefully show that your dog is healthy, but if there are any problems, we will have caught them early so we can take action to improve his chances of staying as healthy as possible.”
Perform today’s procedures and discuss any immediate findings.
Example: “We’ll analyze the blood and urine samples and call you with the results. Since your pet’s exam was good, we don’t anticipate any abnormal results, but if we do find something, we will be able to address it immediately.”
Make an appointment for the next step, whether that is the next wellness exam or a procedure.
Example: “We have a few openings next week where we could perform the dental cleaning. When is convenient for you?”