Prepare to care for a lifetime: Strategies to help more pets

Consistent veterinary care through every stage of life not only helps extend the years of good health, it can give clients and pets more time together. Although 57% of survey respondents viewed veterinary care as an absolute necessity,1 some barriers can get in the way. To learn how your team can help remove these obstacles, AAHA asked four experts on lifetime care to share the experience they've gained with their patients.

The result is a new publication from AAHA with an educational grant from CareCredit. Providing Care for a Lifetime: Overcoming Obstacles and Improving Quantity and Quality of Life not only explores key issues that can hamper care for a lifetime, it offers:

  • Insights on why veterinary teams should focus on care for a lifetime

Focusing on care at every life stage supports pets and their families throughout the pet's arc of life, even when medical care becomes complex. As one of the experts, Karen E. Felsted, DVM, MS, CPA, CVPM, CVA, explains, "...a lifetime of care is not only making medical recommendations but making it possible for people to accept those recommendations."

  • Invaluable breakthrough practice solutions

Financial concerns can be a challenge for pet owners facing economic uncertainties. Proactively educating clients to be prepared to manage costs with payment options can help. As Robin Downing, MS, DAAPM, DACVSMR, CVPP, points out, "This is where having access to a payment option that's out of the hands of the veterinarian can really make a difference. I can tell you that in my own practice... if it weren't for the ability of my clients to use a solution that allows them to pay over time, they wouldn't be able to get these procedures done."

  • Best practices for how to offer lifetime care across a spectrum of situations

When a practice focuses on what's best for the pet, the family and the clinical outcome, the practice thrives alongside pets and their families. An important aspect is the power of collaboration with specialists. One study looked at the benefits of collaboration between primary care and cardiologists in small-breed dogs with congestive heart failure. There was a 74% increase in longevity in dogs treated by a collaborative team versus dogs who were treated by primary care alone. There was also a 22% increase in revenue to the primary care veterinarian when they were collaborating with a specialist.2

In addition to strategies to help advance a Lifetime of CareTM at your practice, the booklet reinforces the impact it can make. Joann Stewart, RVT, CVPM, who contributed her expertise to the AAHA project, summed up the value of lifelong care this way. "Part of what is amazing about the veterinary profession is that all of us are really driven to help pets and their families. A lifetime of care is all about achieving that, and it's helping our teams focus on what brought them into this profession in the first place."

Download a copy of the new Providing Care for a Lifetime booklet from AAHA here.

  1. CareCredit Path To Purchase, Veterinary 2018.
  2. Bonnie K. Lefbom and Neal K. Peckens, “Impact of Collaborative Care on Survival Time for Dogs with Congestive Heart Failure and Revenue for Attending Primary Care Veterinarians,” JAVMA 249, no. 1 (July 1, 2016): 72–76,

Lifetime of CareTM is a trademark of Synchrony Bank.

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