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AAHA, Partners for Healthy Pets, support preventive care awareness

Oct. 14, 2013, DENVER - The American Animal Hospital Association and other leading veterinary organizations are sending pet owners a strong message: “Call your veterinarian today and make an appointment for a yearly checkup!”

Partners for Healthy Pets (PHP), a partnership of more than 100 leading veterinary organizations including AAHA and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), is launching a consumer awareness campaign to drive pet owners to the veterinary hospital for life-saving preventive care.

“Proper preventive health represents the very best we can do for our pets,” said Michael Cavanaugh, DVM, DABVP, AAHA chief executive officer. “That’s why we’re urging pet owners to take the opportunity to schedule a regular veterinary checkup for each of their pets. We want them to get the message that a checkup at least once a year is as important as food and love for their pet. We want to improve the health of our nation’s pets.”

Since its September launch, PHP has demanded attention from pet owners nationwide in advertisements featured in People, O Magazine, CNN.com, and many other high-profile online destinations and print publications. Television public service announcements are planned for 2014.

These online and print placements reflect those online sites and magazines most frequently visited by the pet owners that research indicates will be most likely to respond to the call to action – to call for an appointment today.

A founding member of the PHP, AAHA donated $200,000 to support the organization’s important consumer outreach efforts.

“It is our hope that this comprehensive campaign will move people to take action and get their pets to their family veterinarian for a checkup,” Cavanaugh said. “It’s important for pet owners to realize that it’s much easier to prevent disease than treat it. Working with your veterinarian and visiting at least once a year for preventive care is the best way to help your pet thrive and allow that important human-animal bond to flourish for many wonderful years. ”

Veterinarians have seen an increase in pet obesity, diabetes, kidney disease, arthritis, and heart disease among pets in recent years – often, these diseases can be easily prevented and managed via regular preventive care checkups.

Veterinary health care teams can access preventive health care tools at the Partners for Healthy Pets website. Pet owners can get help scheduling an annual checkup at HealthyPetCheckUp.org.

AAHA is the only organization in the United States and Canada that accredits companion animal hospitals based on standards that meet or exceed state or provincial regulations. Established in 1933, the Association is well-known among veterinarians for its leadership in the profession, high standards for veterinary practices and pet health care, and most importantly, its accreditation of companion-animal practices.

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