Revamp Your Veterinary Preventive Care Programs With Email Communications

Email is a key component in veterinary practice communications. Traditionally, veterinary practices have used email for marketing campaigns, newsletters, or pet birthday messages. Now, with the advent of cloud-based veterinary software with integrated and third-party text and email capabilities, we can keep pet owners current with practice information, as well as optimize preventive care communications. And by making it personal, we strengthen the veterinarian-client bond.

Although email has many advantages, veterinary practices must use this tool carefully and consider how they present themselves digitally. Maintaining a professional tone, without seeming cold, is important to garner respect and reinforce the two-way relationship between the client and the veterinary practice. Additionally, practice leadership should choose PIMS and add-on communication tools carefully to ensure the practice handles client data appropriately, and that email and other digital communication don't infringe on client privacy. In addition, some PIMS make the email process even easier with automatic integration of client data versus having to manually copy and paste the information.

  ​Get tools for client communications and social media resources to educate your clients and gain compliance.​

Once your veterinary practice chooses a solution that best meets your needs, establish internal SOPs that guide team members on consistently providing clients high-level communication. Email can save valuable time, and most clients read and answer emails much more frequently than they take phone calls.

Email is invaluable for appointment reminders, but many practices underestimate email's many other applications. For example, you can boost compliance by leveraging email to empower and educate your clients about your wellness and preventive care programs.

Email Can Drive Compliance

Rather than sending clients reminder emails that only inform them about upcoming or overdue services, prime them to accept preventive care recommendations during their pet's visit. Create more involved clients who understand their pet's care needs by including:

  • Pre-appointment instructions: How many clients forget to bring stool samples, let pets urinate outside when you need a urine sample, or forget to fast their four-legged friend for blood work? Including pre-arrival instructions for each visit type will prevent confusion and frustration, and reduce repeat visits.

  • Preventive care recommendations: Clients know about vaccines and routine parasite testing but often don't understand life-stage-specific wellness testing recommendations. Create emails targeted at pets in young, adult, or senior age groups that outline recommended tests and explain their value.

  • Follow-up recommendations: After the visit, email clients about ongoing pet care so they will advocate for their pet's needs between routine appointments. This could include parasite preventives, nutritional advice, or a preventive care maintenance schedule.

Email Can Increase Client Engagement

Email is a cost-effective marketing tool that can help veterinary practices create a more engaged and loyal client base. Leveraging available technology can maximize your preventive care program's impact and help ensure your clients keep your practice top of mind. The right solution can not only control costs, but can also automate previously manual tasks and reduce phone time, saving your team members valuable time. Consider automating your communication tool for these tasks:

  • Sending multiple email or text appointment reminders at varying pre-appointment intervals

  • Providing pre-appointment instructions according to appointment type

  • Reminding clients about upcoming and overdue services

  • Producing newsletters and educational materials

  • Providing information about upcoming events and community outreach projects

Email Script Examples

Emailing pre-visit preventive care instructions and a post-visit check-in is another effective use of this technology that saves team members' time. Here are a few sample scripts:

Preventive Care Visit

Good Morning <client name="">, we're looking forward to seeing <pet name=""> at their upcoming visit on <date> at </date></pet></client>

  • If your pet is new to our practice, please arrive 10 to 15 minutes early.
  • Please bring a fresh stool sample to your appointment.
  • Do not feed your pet the morning of their appointment, but bring their favorite treats with you.

You can also include the wellness diagnostics you recommend for each life stage and your reasons for each test. For Example:

For a pet <pet name="">'s age, we recommend including routine testing as part of the wellness visit to help catch potential issues early. In fact, routine testing can uncover potential issues in up to 40% of dogs and 60% of cats.</pet>

Preventive Care Follow-Up

Hello <client name="">, we're so glad <pet name=""> visited us for their preventive care services yesterday. Some minor lethargy or soreness at the injection site is normal for 24 to 48 hours after vaccination, but we'd like to hear from you if you have any concerns about your pet. Otherwise, we will see <pet name=""> back in <interval> for their next routine wellness visit.</interval></pet></pet></client>

Normal Lab Results

Good news, <client name="">! <pet name="">'s lab results were normal. This means they are healthy, we now have a healthy baseline we can compare future results to, and no further immediate follow-up is required. Keep up the good work, and continue to provide flea, tick, and heartworm prevention each month. Unless you need us sooner, we'll see you next year.</pet></client>

Using email effectively can dramatically increase the impact of your veterinary practice's preventive care program. Current veterinary technology can also save your team time and hassle. Dive into your email system to see what possibilities exist to expand your wellness offerings and increase client compliance.

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Sarah Rumple
Owner, Chief Creative Officer of Rumpus Writing and Editing

Sarah Rumple is an award-winning veterinary writer and editor. Since 2011, her work has focused on pet health/behavior and veterinary practice management topics. Her clients include individual veterinary practice owners, national corporations, nonprofit associations, media companies, consultants, and others. Learn more at

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