Dig deeper when clients decline parasite preventives

Dig deeper when clients decline parasite preventives

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Oct 01, 2010
By dvm360.com staff

You've probably heard it all from clients who decline parasite prevention: "My dog only goes outside to potty." "He's never gotten a tick before." "The weather's cooling down; Sophie will be fine."

It's your job to help correct those misinformed thoughts, particularly the last one. After all, in temperate climates across North America, including southern California, parasites are even peskier and more plentiful during the fall months. Fleas especially surge when the dry summer heat gives way to moist fall air.

Team members at Century Veterinary Group in Los Angeles often deal with clients who request just a single dose of parasite prevention in August, ignoring their pets' need for year-round protection. So technician assistant Sarah Dryden digs deeper to find the reason for clients' reluctance to buy a more long-term dose. If it's due to financial issues, that's one thing. But if clients don't understand why the products are needed, Dryden readies her educational spiel.

"They seem to think that since it's not as hot anymore, fleas aren't a problem," Dryden says. "Many people know about caterpillars and butterflies, but they have no clue about the flea and tick life cycle." She combines her own knowledge with an educational handout to show clients why they should care about parasite prevention, even during cooler seasons. Often, that's all it takes to convince clients to invest in more than just one dose.

"Having that information to show clients how quickly a problem can arise has been really effective," Dryden says. "If they don't know why they're using these products, they won't follow through."