Pets Need Vets – Get On Board With The Campaign!
The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons this year launched the Pets Need Vets campaign, a social media push designed to highlight the importance of pets being registered with a veterinary practice.
Even the healthiest of pets need vets from time to time, even if it’s only for vaccinations and annual boosters. Statistics drawn from the PDSA Animal Well-being (PAW) Report 2017 show 85% of pet owners have registered their animal with a veterinary practice. However, that still leaves an estimated 3.1 million dogs, cats and rabbits unregistered with a practice and it’s too easy for these pets’ care to slip through the cracks. To resolve this issue, the RCVS is encouraging Practices to promote the #petsneedvets campaign.
The campaign breaks the message into eleven main points, pointing out the benefits of pets being registered. A key message is the difference between having a relationship with a Practice versus relying on “Doctor Google”, or indeed on social media groups, to diagnose and treat various conditions. It highlights that certain medications are only available through a veterinary practice. Some drugs are available online but this route is fraught with danger as there is no guarantee the medications contain what they purport to contain. They could be out of date or simply be placebos, and Practices are encouraged to actively discuss the potential hazards inherent in this type of purchase.
This is an excellent opening for Practices to raise their social media profiles by using the #petsneedvets hashtag across Facebook and Twitter. In addition, veterinary staff should use the opportunity to showcase their own pets, as the personal touch social media lends itself to is an effective way of building trust within the local community. Staff should be encouraged to share stories of their studies, highlighting the years of training and on-going Continuous Personal Development programme they follow to ensure their skills and knowledge are always up to date.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is encouraging existing pet owner clients to share pictures of their pets at the vets, using #lovemyvet and #lovemyvetnurse. This will help raise awareness of the integral and essential role a Practice can play in the lifelong well-being of pets, and the peace of mind pet owners have when they have vet staff who know their animal.
Veterinary practices can find more information to help promote the campaign here.
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