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Help Veterinary Practices Be the Best Resources for Senior Pet Health

By Pam Foster
July, 2018

Owners of senior pets are looking to their veterinarians for help to ease the various signs and symptoms of aging. 

Consider senior diets, for instance. In a June article about Petfood Forum 2018, it was stated that, “Veterinary advice and scientific research were more trusted than information directly from a pet food company.” This was a statement presented in a Forum session by David Sprinkle, publisher and research director at Packaged Facts.

It stands to reason that veterinary practices have a huge opportunity to recommend, provide, and sell more services and supplies for senior pet health. 

The senior pet-health industry has been growing each year with no signs of slowing down. Today, practices can offer a broad range of senior care products including: 

  • Therapeutic senior diets
  • Renal/kidney health products
  • NSAIDs for pain management
  • Joint supplements
  • Laser and swim therapies
  • Treatments for constipation, vision issues, and other senior health issues
  • Mobility aid devices such as toenail grips, booties, shoes, carts, steps, ramps, and more
  • Orthopedic mattresses
  • Harnesses and slingsSenior Dog

And that doesn’t include wellness checks, screenings, diagnostics, preventatives, dental care, treating illnesses, surgeries, holistic therapies, and more. 

The question is: are practices focusing enough on senior care? Are they truly offering clients all they can as the best source in town for aging-pet guidance and care?

As a Distribution Sales Rep (DSR), you play an important role in helping practices take a closer look at this opportunity to make a big difference.

To give you tips on how to help your customers explore senior care... we asked Paul F. Brennan, National Veterinary Sales Manager, Nutramax Laboratories Veterinary Sciences, Inc. to weigh in on the subject. 

How can clinics boost their services, client satisfaction, and revenue by discussing senior mobility solutions with clients?

“A large number of pet owners are willing to do things to care for their pets as they age. There are a lot of options/services available for veterinarians when it comes to senior mobility solutions.

The veterinary clinic needs to discuss these available options/services with their DSR or Manufacturers Rep. This discussion will allow them to find the options/services that would best support the clinic’s focus on senior mobility. 

Because of the pet owner's desire to care for their senior pet, the client satisfaction rate will increase when the pet owner sees that these options/services offered help their pet's mobility. Revenue to the practice goes hand-in-hand with the offering of quality solutions/services for senior pet care mobility solutions. 

Pet owners will be willing to pay for services/products that help with the pet's mobility.”

What can DSRs do during clinic visits to introduce the many great options, helping practices see what’s available and beneficial today? 

“There are so many choices these days when it comes to dealing with the mobility of senior pets. I believe DSRs need to come up with a senior care mobility management discussion plan prior to visiting the clinic.

Having a plan prior to a clinic visit will allow the DSR and the clinic to have a focused and beneficial discussion on how to best help senior pet mobility.”

Where can DSRs turn for clinic education on the latest solutions? (Websites, industry guidelines, client ed sheets, authoritative articles, etc.)

“The best way for DSRs to learn about the options/services available for senior care mobility is to work directly with the manufacturers' sales representatives. The development of this relationship will allow for the DSR to quickly receive all the information (product information, research studies, etc) they need.

Also, the manufacturer's representative may be able to visit the clinic with the DSR to allow for a more successful sales call.”

Start helping your clinics today! 

If you don’t already have a senior care mobility management discussion plan, try these ideas to put one together for your clinic visits: 

  • Before your visit, look up the clinic’s current state of “senior care services” if possible: what do they offer, what do they order from you for supplies, etc.?
  • Make a list of all the products in your distributor catalog that support senior health care — start with the list at the top of this article. 
  • Prepare a list of questions to ask each practice, such as:
    • How often do you talk with pet owners about their aging pets?
    • What do you offer for senior care in terms of screenings, diagnostics, preventatives, dental care, treating illnesses, surgeries, holistic therapies, etc.?
    • How do you educate your team about senior care issues?
    • What’s your protocol for senior patient wellness checks? 
  • Depending on the answers, offer to bring in a manufacturer’s representative for a lunch ‘n learn session on senior care products, services, protocols, and more. 
  • Also, introduce the clinic to any client education tools offered by different manufacturers or by industry organizations such as AAHA and the AVMA.

With each conversation you have with practices, you’ll potentially help them grow their businesses with trusted senior care solutions.

Topics: Senior Care, DSR Facing Blog