As Thanksgiving approaches, your clients have a ton on their minds as they plan 10-course feasts, dazzling table displays, and their guests’ sleeping arrangements. So, you need to gently remind them of the holiday dangers for their pets. Eye-catching infographics, witty social media posts, and thoughtful blog posts will get your point across. Here are four ways to help make your clients aware of the Thanksgiving dangers for pets.
#1: Post reminders about Thanksgiving food hazards
Although pet owners likely know that many of their favorite Thanksgiving dishes are dangerous for pets, reminding them again won’t hurt. The holiday season is the most chaotic time of year, and they could easily forget that an aunt’s keto-friendly pie contains xylitol, a sugar substitute deadly for dogs.
Grab your clients’ attention with a brightly colored infographic depicting dangerous foods and the reactions they can cause in pets. Or, highlight a dangerous dish each day of the week on social media, and ask your followers what might happen if they share a bite with their pets. When sharing information about food hazards, ensure you tell clients where they should turn if they suspect their pet has eaten a toxic food, include the phone number for an animal poison control hotline or your local veterinary emergency hospital, and suggest your clients keep the numbers handy over the holiday.
#2: Share tips on making a pet-safe Thanksgiving feast
You know your clients are going to spoil their pets with table tidbits, no matter how many times you warn them not to. So, instead of simply listing hazardous foods for pets, let your clients share the feast safely with their pets. If any of your team members enjoy the spotlight in front of the camera, consider hosting a “cooking show” on social media. Demonstrate toxic foods along with pet-safe items, and have your team member explain the differences. For example, put a turkey leg and turkey breast side by side, and explain why the turkey leg is dangerous (i.e., high fat content, bones, seasoned skin) and should be avoided, but small bites of boneless, skinless, unseasoned turkey breast are safe to share with their pet.
#3: Warn clients of Thanksgiving decorating dangers
While blooming chrysanthemums may seem a harmless way for clients to brighten up their homes, they are actually one of the most common seasonal decor dangers. To help educate your clients on hazardous decor for pets, plan an in-hospital game. Each day, set up pictures of two seasonal plants, and ask clients which one poses a threat to pets and to write down their answers—without using their phone for help. Then, give a small prize, such as a bag of treats, a Thanksgiving-themed bandana, or pet toy, to a winner each day.
Or, you can set up a pet-safe harvest display at your hospital as a demonstration, or two displays, and ask clients to spot the differences between traditional and pet-friendly arrangements. Swap out lit candles for battery-operated ones, mums for asters or sunflowers, and decorative corn cobs for large gourds that do not fit in a pet’s mouth. Of course, block your patients’ access to your non-pet-friendly display to prevent potential disasters.
#4: Encourage your clients to update their pet’s microchip information
When friends and family greet each other and gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, pets often have the opportunity to slip through open doors. With increased traffic on the roads, remind your clients to block their pet’s access to exits. Also, remind them about the importance of keeping their pet’s microchip and collar ID tag information current. List statistics on the number of pets who go missing each year, and the number of pets reunited with their families because their microchip information is up to date. You may consider running a special on microchip procedures during October and November to encourage clients to have their pets chipped—it’s a great way to fill up your veterinary technicians’ appointment slots.
As your team scrambles to fill last-minute prescription refill requests, fill out health certificates for traveling, or find room in your “inn” for boarding pets, they mayz have little time to compose Thanksgiving safety tips for your clients. Leave the brainstorming to our Rumpus team—contact us for help designing your seasonal safety information.
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