The AVMA and Fort Dodge Animal Health on June 18 announced a new National Pet Wellness educational campaign to raise consumer awareness about disease risks to pets and how to prevent them. The Being a Pet Is Risky Business campaign focuses on the importance of individualized risk assessment and twice-a-year wellness examinations in protecting pets against common diseases.
National Pet Wellness is a clinic-centered educational campaign. Nearly 15,000 veterinary clinics currently participate.
The Risky Business campaign will reach pet owners in two ways—first, through a variety of educational materials designed for in-clinic use by veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and the rest of the veterinary team. The second way is through television and radio public service announcements and other public outreach, which will encourage pet owners to contact their local veterinarian to schedule a wellness examination.
"We are very excited about this year's campaign," said Dr. Roger K. Mahr, 2006-2007 AVMA president. "Not only does this campaign bring important information to the public's attention, but it also allows veterinarians to recognize the very important front-line role of veterinary technicians in communicating with and educating pet owners."
Clinics registered with National Pet Wellness in July received a free in-clinic education kit containing the following items:
- Canine and feline disease risk assessment forms can be used by veterinary technicians to identify where and how each patient may be exposed to disease risks, and by veterinarians to determine appropriate health programs for each patient. A copy of this form can also be provided to pet owners.
- Risky Business consumer brochures are designed to inform pet owners about how risk assessments can help veterinarians develop an individualized disease prevention program for each pet.
- The clinic education DVD contains a PowerPoint presentation on integrating twice-a-year wellness examinations and risk assessment protocols into a clinic. Included are digital formats of 2007 campaign materials, a customizable press release for clinics to distribute to local media, AVMA public service announcements, and an assortment of graphics, artwork, photos, and logos.
To support clinic team involvement in the campaign, AVMA-sponsored television and radio public service announcements are being launched this summer, bringing the campaign message to millions of pet owners nationwide. The PSAs are funded by a Fort Dodge Animal Health educational grant.
"We're pleased the AVMA and so many local veterinary clinics see value in the National Pet Wellness campaign for their clients and patients as well as their practice," said Craig S. Wallace, vice president of marketing, Fort Dodge Animal Health. "We believe the best place for pet owners to learn about pet risks, disease prevention, and wellness is from their own veterinarian. National Pet Wellness helps support those in-clinic efforts."