See eye-to-eye with clients on the 20/20 veterinary report

See eye-to-eye with clients on the 20/20 veterinary report

Are you prepared to respond when clients ask you whether you're trying to upsell them on their pets' care?
Dec 01, 2013
By staff

On Nov. 22, ABC's news program 20/20 aired a segment called "Is Your Veterinarian Being Honest with You?"

The report completely misrepresented the veterinary profession, says Eliza Krauter, CVT, VTS (Dentistry). "They talked about how veterinarians are out to make a buck and make unnecessary recommendations, taking advantage of families that want what's best for their pets. I am mortified that this was the picture painted," Krauter says. "What this story should have been about was arming clients with the tools to make educated decisions about pet care. You have to know what questions to ask when looking for a veterinarian who practices the type of health care you want for your pet, because not all animal hospitals will be in line with your individual healthcare goals.

"In the end it's the pets that will suffer from this report. They have done nothing but terrify families into making poor medical choices for their beloved four-legged family members."

Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member Bash Halow, CVPM, LVT, agrees. "This is not a news story; it's a news spin and probably the most shameful, irresponsible part is that the producers began with the title and the outline then secondarily went in search of the spurious facts to support it," Halow writes on his company blog. He says it's especially frustrating to watch what he deems a sensationalized, polarizing and paper-thin would-be exposé on the veterinary industry.

Engaging in meaningful conversations with pet owners is a good first step to show you care, Halow says. Use the sample conversation tree at to get started.