Finding the right home care option for pet owners
Editor’s note: The following responses were provided by Julie Kluxdal, DVM; Sharon Hubby, DVM; Courtney S Carney, Director of Marketing, Virbac Corporation.
Vet-Advantage: What are some unique, creative things you’ve seen veterinary practices do to boost dental products and services?
- Bulletin boards in clinic highlighting periodontal disease with before and after pictures of actual clinic patients
- Featuring periodontal disease in clinic newsletters and on clinic websites
- Including a full size dental home care product in dental therapy package (full bag of chews, tube of toothpaste) for owner to use
- Clinic presence at local pet fairs and events, giving coupons for oral exams and dental procedure package or dental home care samples to attendees
- Covering dental home care at puppy training classes
Vet-Advantage: Are pet owners more receptive to dental procedures and using products than in the past?
Virbac: Pet owners are being exposed more frequently to the idea of dental care for their pets through television commercials, pet blogs, and newspaper articles. Overall awareness is greater, but there is still a huge opportunity to increase compliance.
Vet-Advantage: How can a veterinary practice best get started?
Virbac: Education for entire staff: Dental CE, In-clinic seminars from companies like Virbac. Also, veterinary clinics may assign a Dental Champion in the clinic to lead the program – someone that loves veterinary dentistry.
Vet-Advantage: Are there any best practices to pass on to veterinary clinics hoping to gain more compliance from pet owners on products they use at home?
Virbac: Demonstrate tooth brushing on dental models and/or an amenable clinic pet.
Veterinary clinics can make callbacks two to four weeks after the dental procedure and tooth brushing training to see how owner is doing at home. Frequently, the owner has not had success, but will not call the clinic. Clinic staff can offer for the owner to come in for additional guidance on tooth brushing, or help the owner choose another option for at-home dental care.
Veterinary clinics can also encourage education around dental chews, and how one chew per day can significantly reduce plaque and tartar.
Vet-Advantage: What are a few key points that distributor reps need to talk to their customers about dental products and services?
Virbac: Periodontal disease is a serious health threat that affects the overall wellbeing of the pet.
Dental home care is just as important as treatment in the clinic.
There are multiple options for dental home care; tooth brushing, dental chews, etc. Clinic staff can work with each pet owner to find what home care option will work best for that owner and pet.