Weigh in Wednesday is part of the new Friends for Life campaign from the PFMA aimed at pet owners to help them better manage their pet’s lifestyle and nutrition. Your practice can use this campaign to encourage your clients to visit you more often and be more aware of pet obesity - the risks and the solutions.
Pet owners are often not aware of any problems with their pets, but research has shown a shocking statistic that almost half the pets seen in practice by vets are overweight.
Weigh in Wednesday
Because of the health issues associated with being overweight (highlighted below) and the high number of overweight pets in the UK, the Pet Food Manufacturers Association (PMFA) launched the ‘Friends for Life’ campaign in May 2013 to tackle the problem and is having a fresh promotion this month, August. Working with leading experts in the field of pet food, the constant focus is on helping the UK's pet owners (and potential pet owners) improve the health and well-being of their animals.
The campaign encourages owners of dogs, cats, rabbits, even birds to contact their vet or pet care specialist each Wednesday throughout August, to get advice on weight management and to keep a check on their pet’s health. These days are called Weigh in Wednesdays!
Ongoing Pet Health
But the campaign doesn't stop there – it can be ongoing at your practice with regular checks on the pet's progress. By monitoring the pet’s body size and health, not only can owners keep their animals at the ideal size and increase their life expectancy, but they can form a more regular relationship with their vet practice too.
The Weigh In Wednesday campaign starts on 7th August and both pet owners and pet professionals, like you, can download all the tools they need from the PFMA website. The vet practice pack includes waiting room posters, banners and lots of tips on spreading the word to pet owners.
Make your Clients Aware
As you are aware, there are many health issues associated with having an overweight animal. It may be a good idea to make sure your clients are aware of them too - use social media to post about the health concerns in overweight animals, the Weigh in Wednesday campaign can be a great start for your own messages.
Concerns your clients should be aware of:
Aside from the more obvious concerns - heart disease and circulatory problems, the increased risk of diabetes, joint disease and a poor respiratory system - obesity in pets can also lead to a poorer immune response, difficulty in giving birth, incontinence, heat intolerance and fatty changes can cause liver problems for cats. If an overweight pet needs an operation, then that too can cause increased surgical complications as it does in humans. An increased anaesthetic risk, slow wound healing and a greater risk of wound infection being some of the extra factors the veterinary team might face.
Making sure clients are aware of how to recognise the signs that their pet is overweight (such as difficulty in walking very far, pain on movement, breathlessness and coughing) is also important.
So make sure your practice uses the weigh in Wednesday campaign throughout August to encourage pet owners to see more of you and get their pet in the best condition! We suggest using social media to spread the word - that way your Facebook fans and Twitter followers can respond and ask you more about it.
With the extra info from you, pet owners can make a real difference to their pet’s lives.
We believe the Weigh in Wednesday and Friends for Life campaign from the PFMA is an excellent opportunity to get clients turning to your for advice and most importantly, giving their pets a better quality of life. We can help you manage your social media presence and ensure clients engage with you online. Please contact us for more information on the services we provice or for any advice on using the Weigh in Wednesday campaign in your own practice through social media.