Fort Dodge Animal Health and the AVMA announced July 24 during the AVMA convention that October will be designated National Pet Wellness Month and unveiled details of a joint educational initiative.
National Pet Wellness Month is a two-part program that will focus on the aging process of pets and the importance of twice-a-year wellness examinations for pets.
The first part of the program will center on local veterinary clinics, where pet owners can receive valuable wellness information tailored to their pet from their veterinarian.
Participating veterinary clinics will receive a variety of educational tools, including posters, client literature, and point-of-sale materials designed to explain the pet aging process and the steps that pet owners can take to enhance their pet's quality of life.
The second part of the program will convey National Pet Wellness Month and the pet aging process to pet owners through a national publicity campaign—"Twice a Year for Life." A series of national news, video, and audio releases targeted to leading national media will direct pet owners to their local veterinarians for more information.
National Pet Wellness Month is a multiyear, cooperative endeavor that is expected to expand over time.
AVMA President (2003-2004) Jack O. Walther said, "Advances in veterinary medicine have led to an increased percentage of aging cats and dogs in this country. Unlike people, cats and dogs can't tell you where it hurts. An examination every six months is the best way to ensure that any potentially life-threatening condition is caught early."
Brent Standridge is Fort Dodge Animal Health's senior vice president of sales and marketing for North America. "We firmly believe creating greater knowledge and awareness of twice yearly pet wellness exams will have a dramatic impact on the health, quality of life, and longevity of America's pets," he said. "And the best place for pet owners to learn about the pet aging process and wellness exams is from their veterinarian."
"The national clinic and public information programs will make it clear to pet owners their pets age more quickly than humans, and regular wellness visits to veterinarians provide real health advantages for pets," Standridge said.
Veterinarians can request a free In-Clinic Education Kit by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
"The veterinary press attend the press conference announcing National Pet Wellness Month, led by Dr. Michael D. LaRosh, Fort Dodge Animal Health; Dr. Jack O. Walther, 2003-2004 AVMA president; and Dr. Michael Rehm, an Alabama veterinarian who uses wellness examinations in his practices and lectures on practice management."