AVMA and Mars help strengthen veterinary team-client partnership with Positive Pet Care Guide

According to a recent survey of more than 1,300 AVMA members, 40 percent of respondents said they or someone they work with had experienced cyberbullying in the workplace. Nine in ten veterinarians reported experiencing negative or escalating interactions with clients over the past year, with 65% saying this was happening on a weekly basis. Veterinary teams face increasingly tense interactions with frustrated clients, both in person and online.

In response to concerns expressed by veterinary professionals and pet owners, the AVMA, Mars Veterinary Health and industry leaders created the Guide to Positive Pet Care.

Guide to Positive Pet Care
The Positive Pet Care Guide (PDF), which can be displayed in the clinic or provided to clients, outlines behaviors that veterinary teams and clients can expect from each other to maintain mutual trust and respect.

The Positive Pet Care Guide is a free resource that veterinary teams can use to promote healthy communication and a positive partnership between staff and pet owners. This comprehensive guide outlines the corresponding expectations of veterinary teams and clients, and encourages a supportive, safe and inclusive environment.

“We are incredibly proud of how industry leaders from across the profession have come together to create a much-needed resource that we are confident will have a positive impact on hospital teams, pet owners and patients,” said Dr. Lori Teller, AVMA. President. “We remain committed to ensuring veterinary professionals have the tools they need to succeed in their careers while meeting the needs of clients and pets.”

Before creating the guide, the AVMA and Banfield Pet Hospital questioned 1,000 dog and cat owners and the AVMA surveyed more than 1,300 veterinarians to learn about the issues, opportunities and areas of understanding between these two groups.

Eighty percent of veterinary professionals said they would like owners to understand the issues facing the industry, such as lack of staff and appointments, and 72% of pet owners agreed that They could show more patience and understanding with the problems faced by veterinary professionals to help strengthen the veterinary team. and customer relations.

Upon reflection, nearly half of veterinary professionals and almost all pet owners (96%) indicated that they wish they could redo and approach the conversation differently after negative or escalated interactions to help create a more positive outcome.

The guide is the result of a industry-wide task force aimed at strengthening the relationship between veterinary teams and pet owners through resources, education and collaboration.

Task force members include the AVMA and Mars Veterinary Health and its practices Banfield, BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital and VCA Animal Hospitals.

Additional group members include:

  • American Association of Veterinary Colleges (AAVMC)
  • National Association of Veterinary Technicians of America (NAVTA)
  • Not one more veterinarian (NOMV)
  • Veterinary Hope Foundation (VHF)
  • Leaders of the Veterinary Medical Association (VMAE)
  • Veterinary Hospital Directors Association (VHMA)

More than a dozen veterinary professional organizations reviewed the document and provided feedback.

“Mars Veterinary Health and our family of practices are proud to collaborate with industry leaders to drive positive change in the profession so that people and pets can thrive,” said Doug Drew, president of Mars Veterinary Health. “When we strengthen the relationship between veterinary professionals and pet owners, hospital teams and clients can better work together to provide quality care to the animals who depend on us.”

This resource can be found with the AVMA’s recently launched resource. reputation management toolkit, made available to veterinary professionals thanks to an educational grant from Banfield. The toolkit includes articles and videos on topics such as cyberbullying, reputation management and social media monitoring.

A version of this article appears in the June 2023 print issue of JAVMA.


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