COVID-19: Educating Veterinary Clients & Promoting Practice Services
By now, coronavirus has infiltrated every aspect of daily life: canceling school, events, vacations, and worst of all, putting people in the hospital. Keeping people safe means social distancing, limiting the "non-essentials," and an increase in basic hygiene. What impact will this have on pets? On our veterinary practices? And what should we be doing?
I can't even pretend to know all the answers. But what I do know is NOW is the time to be the source of reliable information, honor our veterinary oath to protect public health, and do the best we can to support our teams and our businesses. Here are some ways to start with our veterinary social media channels:
Be the Source of Reliable Information.
Take this opportunity to educate your clients about coronavirus-- in people and in pets. As veterinarians, we have an obligation to protect public health, too. While there's still much knowledge to be gained, there are reliable information sources out there from AVMA and WSAVA, plus the human-focused sources of the CDC and WHO.
Springboard Ideas for Social Post Text (feel free to copy!):
Our veterinarians have taken an oath to protect not only animals but also public health. To that end, we wanted to share resources to help both pets and people! This is an emerging situation, but this is what we know now:
✅ There is still no evidence that pets get COVID-19
✅ There is no evidence to suggest that pet dogs or cats can be a source of infection, including spreading COVID-19 to people. (based on numerous infectious disease experts, as well as the CDC, OIE, and WHO)
✅ Washing your hands before and after interacting with pets is still a good idea to minimize the spread of ANY germs or diseases.
✅ If you or someone else in the home is having symptoms, it is recommended another individual in the home takes care of the pet(s) and contact between the infected individual and the pet(s) is limited until we know more.
✅ If you are symptomatic, please stay home unless seeking medical care. It is advised to call your healthcare provider first so that your healthcare team can reduce risk of transmission while providing care. This keeps everyone safe!
✅ If your pet is in need of medical attention and has potentially been exposed to the virus- please contact a local public health official first, who can then consult with local veterinarians to best provide care while minimizing risk of transmission of COVID-19 to others. If you are unsure if your pet needs to be seen, call our team! We are happy to help you via phone or email.
✅ As always, look for reputable, accurate, information from credible sources, such as the CDC or state/local health departments.
💻 CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
💻 World Health Organization:
💻 American Veterinary Medical Association info: https://bit.ly/2U10YOI
💻 World Small Animal Veterinary Association info: https://bit.ly/3aTi7k1
Other Great Articles/Shareables/Resources:
Highlight the Offerings Your Practice Has That Can Help.
A local bookstore in my town sent out an email yesterday providing some of the CDC/WHO information, and reminding its customers of the impact this disease can have on the local economy, small businesses and their employees. The email focused on how they were committed to providing the same level of small business service even in a disease outbreak: offering free shipping and even curbside pickup so owners didn't have to come inside.
How could our practices do the same? By highlighting the convenience offerings we can provide!
Good luck, stay safe, and wash your hands!
-Caitlin DeWilde, DVM