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Implementation and Conclusion

The ultimate goal of wellness care is improved quality of life and longevity. Comprehensive life stage wellness care permits early detection and treatment or control of disease and cost-saving in long-term healthcare expenses. Clearly defined wellness plans encourage a unified approach from the entire veterinary team. The client is a crucial member of this team. A collaborative approach is generally linked to best outcomes.11,96 Table 4 provides web-based resources useful to both the veterinary team and clients.

A strong, clear recommendation must always begin with the veterinarian and be followed up by the entire veterinary team. Incorporate individualized life stage guidelines into reminder and callback systems.48 Strong, unified follow-up recommendations from the multiple members of the entire veterinary team will produce better compliance. Discuss future life stage recommendations beginning with the first visit to help set client expectations. Make it easy for the client to comply (e.g., consider types of or timing of preventive medications), advise clients of the risks and benefits, and provide encouragement in carrying out the patient’s wellness care needs.

Discuss healthcare financial planning to help pet owners prepare for the costs associated with optimal healthcare. Discuss wellness plans, including the pros and cons of insurance and/or other forms of healthcare financial planning to help pet owners comply with an optimal wellness plan. Staging of procedures, multiple visits, and various payment options may help increase compliance and ensure that patients receive as many of the wellness recommendations as possible.

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