"He never eats scraps" (And other lies clients tell)

Why do clients pretend they gave medication, swear their pup stays on a leash, or claim their cat never goes outside? Let's look at what's beneath these fibs and examine how we can inject a little truth serum into our conversations with clients.
May 01, 2008

Illustration by Jennifer Taylor
Every day clients lie. In fact, 99 percent of team members say clients have lied to them, according to a 2007 VetMedTeam.com survey. Sometimes it's a nuisance, often it's humorous, and occasionally it's nearly fatal.

So what do clients lie about? Their ability to pay for services and what they feed their pets top the list, according to the survey. Other lies include what they were told by another veterinary practice, previous care they provided for their pet, and their pet's current health and vaccination status.

Fig. 1
White lie or big fib, it's no fun to be on the receiving end of these untruths—especially when they challenge your ability to offer the care pets need. Here's a look at why clients lie and what you can do when they let loose with the whoppers.