If dental compliance is a concern at your practice, you're not alone. The team at Lockwillow Avenue Animal Hospital in Harrisburg, Pa., worried that clients didn't always follow their dental recommendations.
It should be straightforward: You tell your clients what to do, and they do it. Aren't client relations supposed to work this way? After all, you're a doctor, you have command of the English language, and your clients love their cats and want to care for them. Unfortunately, compliance doesn't happen as frequently as we'd like, even with intelligent, committed clients. Reversing this trend means understanding—and eliminating—the reasons for client noncompliance.
Teaching proper dental care is part of the program at Pet Crossing Animal Hospital and Dental Clinic in Bloomington, Minn. And they aren't just teaching their staff members. Co-owners Drs. Katherine Knutson and Stephen Barghusen are using a dental lecture series to help practices statewide improve their standard of dental care and improve client compliance.
Our society is losing the war on obesity. And bad eating habits have spilled into the pet population. No matter how hard you preach, many clients don't seem to heed the warnings. In fact, client compliance with nutritional recommendations for therapeutic foods ranks at a dismal 12 percent compliance rate out of the the 59 percent of all dogs and cats that have visited a veterinarian and would benefit from treatment with a therapeutic diet, according to last year's American Animal Hospital Association's (AAHA) study. It was the worst compliance category. The survey estimates lost revenue in excess of $110,000 per veterinarian per year for therapeutic pet foods alone.
While clients offer untold excuses as to why they fail to comply with heartworm recommendations and senior screenings, the blame sometimes belongs to the one giving - or not giving - the recommendation.