When Banfield’s State of Pet Health 2015 was released, it shed light on some worrying statistics. Beyond reflecting the general decline in the use of veterinary services (dogs averaged 1.5 visits in 2006, down from a mean of 1.9 visits in 2001), it suggested that veterinarians and pet owners are increasingly operating on two totally different wavelengths, with our conversation topics and vocabulary diverging sharply from the common concerns of pet owners.
While the majority of veterinarians want to speak about vaccines, spay/neuter, & parasite control, pet owners are most concerned with their pet's diet, exercise, play, and emotional well-being. These differences are creating less schedule routine visits, more emergency situations, and more pet owners seeking Dr. Google.
There’s two ways we can apply this information. Either veterinary professionals must change their rhetoric to match the expectations of their clients, or we need to do a better job educating the public about why we advocate for preventative medicine like antiparasitics, dental cleanings, and vaccine protocols.