Setting up a Lost Paws Campaign

As a vet, you know how important it is that your patients come in for their checkups and vaccines. When patients either miss or don’t set up essential appointments, not only do pets lose essential care, but you also lose revenue. When it’s been more than a year since you’ve seen a patient, you need to take action. A great way to bring these patients back is through what is commonly referred to as a lost souls, or what we at fetch. call a “lost paws” campaign.

What is a lost paws campaign?

A lost paws campaign is an outbound marketing effort specifically targeting pet parents you haven’t seen in over a year. The goal of the campaign is to get them back in your office for a visit to get their pets some tender, loving veterinary care!

Before you start this type of campaign, it’s important to understand why you might not have seen these pet parents in a while. They may have switched to another vet clinic, or they may not be coming in because of personal reasons, like high costs of care. Your campaign should address these concerns, perhaps not directly but indirectly. If you choose carefully what to say, the underlying message and your concern for the care of their pet will come through.

Here are some messages to include in your campaign:

  • “We’ve missed you!” (Underlying message: We’ve noticed you’re gone. We truly care about our patients as individuals.)
  • “Show us this email before the end of this month to get a 15% discount!” (Underlying message: We want to make your pet’s care affordable for you.)
  • “Exciting things are happening here!” (Underlying message: We are still relevant and interesting.)
  • “This is Dr. [Name] and we noticed [pet’s name] hasn’t been in for a while.” (Underlying message: Our veterinarian is taking the time to reach out personally about your pet.)
  • “Is your pet overdue for an annual vaccine?” (Underlying message: We haven’t seen you in a while and want to help keep your pet happy and healthy.)

Why should you reach out for a lost paws campaign?

The Harvard Business Review reports that “acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.” In other words, focus on client retention if you want your practice to be successful.

Of course, gaining customers is great if it means your practice is growing. But when you’re working on gaining customers only because you’ve lost customers, that’s an issue. For veterinary practices, losing customers is serious business. Not only does it mean you lose revenue, but it also means you no longer have the privilege of giving your high-caliber care to those pets in your community.

When you lose patients, you also lose positive word-of-mouth from pet parents, which can be so powerful in improving your reputation. And unfortunately, losing patients may also mean you’re getting negative word-of-mouth from any unsatisfied pet parents.

How fetch. can help you find and reach lost paws

At fetch., we provide several tools to help you reach out to the lost paws in your practice, and do it easily and within just a few clicks. Because while it’s worth it to put significant energy into regaining lost paws, veterinarians and their staff  should be able to spend their valuable time caring for pets. That’s why fetch. is here to help.

Reporting Tools

One challenge with a lost paws campaign is finding out who your lost paws even are! In some antiquated reporting tools available in Practice Management Systems such as Cornerstone, Avimark, Infiniti Impromed, and so on, it’s virtually impossible to figure out who your lost paws are.  

Our reporting tools allow you to easily pull up who you haven’t seen in a while from your own personalized dashboard. From there, you can select who you’d like to reach out to. fetch. displays a visually appealing list that is easy to navigate.

You can even divide the lost paws into categories based on why they haven’t come back so your campaigns can be even more personalized. Let’s say a few cat parents have stopped coming to their appointments because they’re having financial difficulties. You could send them a personalized message offering a discount on their cat’s next checkup.

Communication Media

Once you’ve found out who the lost paws are, fetch. can help you set up an outbound campaign that will effectively bring these valuable clients back through your doors. Choosing an appropriate communication medium is key. With our one-of-a-kind communication platform, you can use voice, email, or text (or all three) to reach out to your clients. Our reporting suite (handy here again!) will guide you through the options that work best for your patients.  

Patient Outreach

With fetch., campaigns are easy to implement and can be scheduled within only a few minutes. Whether you are sending messages for lost paws, wellness tips, preventive care, or immunization reminders, you can do it without fuss or worry. Lost paws campaigns could be tricky because of their target audience, and with current practice management systems, it’s nearly impossible to even know where to start! From pulling a list of lost souls to sending tailored reminders, fetch. makes the process simple and straightforward.

But the lost souls campaign isn’t doesn’t end there. fetch. lets veterinarians track who they sent communications to and whether or not these pet parents returned to the practice. This follow up closes the loop on the patient need and also delivers a measurable ROI, which is impossible with other practice management systems and their antiquated, one-size-fits-all reporting tools.

Lost paws campaigns are just what you need to bring back pets you haven’t seen in more than a year. These campaigns help you gain revenue and give care to those pets who would otherwise miss out on the care they need. As veterinarians, all we want is to be able to use our talents and training to care for all our patients. fetch. makes it easier than ever to make this goal a reality.

Common Communication Complaints of Pet Care Clients and How to Solve Them

As we approach the year 2020, being simply “customer focused” is no longer going to be enough to meet customer expectations. According to a report by Walker, a customer experience consulting firm, we need to shift from being “customer focused” to “customer committed.”

As veterinarians, we are of course committed to the pets we care for, no question. But how committed are we to their pet parents? Do we understand their needs? We may be a veritable cat whisperer, but how well do we communicate with the pet parents who care for those felines? Do we understand their language?

Being committed to our customers means that we continually search for better ways to reach our clients and we can always improve our communication skills. One way to do that is by understanding the most common complaints of pet owners. Pet parents complain that they don’t get regular appointment reminders or that they get too many reminders all at once. This points to a problem that vet practices have: reminders and appointments get backed up, and you end up with too many appointments on the same day of the week or even too many in the same month.

Let’s talk about these communication problems and how fetch. can help.

Pet Parent Complaint #1: “I don’t get reminders at all!”

We know what you’re thinking: “My pet parents definitely do get reminders. We send them like clockwork!” We’re sure you do, but here’s the principle to keep in mind: it’s not what you send out but what the pet parent receives that matters. All patients should receive appointment reminders, not just have reminders sent to them. See the difference? We vets need to tailor the medium of our reminders so pet parents actually see the reminders, open them, and respond to them.

A major reason pet parents may not be receiving reminders is that they’re not being sent via the best media. In fact, most reminders are still being sent in the most outdated way possible–by direct-mail postcard. Ask yourself: when was the last time I actually acted in response to a direct-mail postcard? Exactly, never.

fetch. solves this problem by capitalizing on the latest technology and studies. fetch. uses automated reminders that are easy to set up and maintain, making a solution that cost pennies as opposed to the dollars that postcards cost.

Another fetch. solution is to use automated phone calls and text messages. Charlotte Bohnett at WebPT writes, “There are countless case studies showing how phone and text message reminders save thousands of labor hours, increase revenue dramatically, and decrease patient no-shows—all in addition to saving you time and guaranteeing the reminders actually get made.” fetch. delivers these benefits and more so that pets are cared for, pet parents are happy, and your practice does well.

Pet Parent Complaint #2: “I already receive too many emails. Appointment reminders get lost in the heap.”

Have you ever felt extremely stressed out when you got several emails or texts while you were trying to focus on something else? You’re not alone. According to Gloria Mark, professor of informatics at the University of California at Irvine, just 20 minutes of interruptions is enough to lead to “higher stress, frustration, workload, effort and pressure.” And according to Dr. Daniel Levitin, “constantly checking emails, texts, and Facebook constitutes a neural addiction. Switching tasks literally uses up energy and nutrient stores in the brain leaving you feel exhausted and disoriented.” No wonder that the top reason consumers opt out of emails is that they “receive emails too often.”

The last thing we want is for our pet parents to feel “exhausted and disoriented”—and we certainly don’t want them to unsubscribe from our emails!

The second most common reason people unsubscribe from emails may shed some light on how we fix the problem: people unsubscribe if they find the emails irrelevant.

“Call me crazy,” says Kenny Silva, an author at B2C, “but that makes me wonder. Would the person who cited frequency as their top reason have been so quick to unsubscribe if they found real value in the emails they received?”

fetch. is the answer to both these reasons people unsubscribe from emails. After researching hundreds of practices and thousands of interactions, we’ve found what email frequencies work, and we know how to keep the reminders relevant so your pet parents recognize how important they are. fetch. helps you create an easy relationship with pet parents, making it easy for them to keep appointments and interact with reminders, no matter how busy their lifestyle.

Top Vet Practice Complaint: “Our reminders and appointments get backed up, and we end up with too many appointments all at once.”

We’ve talked about pet parent complaints, but we know vets have some gripes, too. Could we solve the appointment backup problem with fetch.?

Unfortunately, the causes of appointment backup are not always in a vet’s control.

We do our best to schedule responsibly (although sometimes there are managers and administrators who have more of a say in this than we do),” says Laura Smith, DVM. “But as Robert Burns said, ‘even the best laid plans of mice and men, often go awry.’ Nowhere is this more true than in medicine.”

The ebb and flow of vet appointments is really more like a drought and flood most of the time. Vets are slammed with appointments first thing Monday morning for pets who got sick over the weekend. Then Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are often slow. Then on Friday, vets are again slammed with pets whose pet parents who prefer to take Fridays off so they don’t interrupt the flow of their work week.

That’s not even to mention summer and holidays, when pet are out and about on vacation and may need vet attention. Tick and flea season, when, well, vets are bombarded with pets who are bombarded with ticks and fleas.

Vets really want to see their pets! Vets are compassionate by nature; we can’t stand the thought of turning a needy pet away. Whether there are emergencies or last-minute things to take care of, it’s hard to say no, despite an overfilled appointment schedule.

Here’s where fetch. comes in. fetch. optimizes workflow and patient flow throughout the week and the year. We can help you send out well-timed reminders so that your schedule stays optimally full and never too full for those last-minute appointments. Our scheduling technology minimizes wait times in the waiting room, minimizes stress on the staff, and utilizes staff in the most efficient and healthy way possible.

fetch. isn’t just a technology—it’s a comprehensive solution that allows vets to put pets and pet parents first as they go about their responsibilities. Whether the complaint is that pet parents are receiving too few or not enough reminders, fetch. gives vets the tools to be not just customer focused but customer committed as well.

Data Insights You Didn’t Know You Have

If you’ve ever been frustrated with the problems your veterinary practice is facing. We hear you! Whether it be ineffective communication among staff members, the fact that pet parents seem to ignore your reminder emails, or the sheer logistics of keeping track of hundreds of patients’ needs, being in the veterinary business can be stressful!


At fetch., we know that an effective use of data can solve these problems and more. Standard systems don’t tell you a whole lot, but fetch. offers real-time data insights that help you overcome staff, pet parent, and patient troubles.

The Data Insights Some Systems Are Missing

Unfortunately, most reports can only tell you a few things about your practice; there are several crucial things they can’t tell you. We can’t blame the systems themselves; the real problem is that these systems don’t make it easy to enter data in a standard format.


First, they aren’t great at telling you when appointments or vaccines are due.


Let’s say you have three technicians at your practice. Technician Andrew is meticulous, entering in the same vaccines using the correct notation every time. Technician Betsy, on the other hand, enters in those vaccines with slightly different notation, though she is consistent herself. But Technician Conrad is another story: he enters in every vaccine differently every time with no internal or external consistency (let’s say he’s new; we’ll forgive him).


No wonder your system is confused. When data is entered erroneously, how can we expect it to give us useful information? And because the system doesn’t know that Buddy the Chihuahua is due for a checkup, no reminder will be triggered.


Second, most systems aren’t great at telling you when patients have missed these appointments or vaccines because they don’t always have the right reporting tools. Many of these systems don’t allow you to bring up your lapsed patients with one click of a button, and when we consider all the non-standard notations floating around, it’s easy to see why.


Third, hand-made spreadsheet systems may not be great at telling you anything because of human error. Unfortunately, these errors can cause ineffective messages to be sent out—or not sent out at all!


The Data Insights fetch. Offers

Luckily, fetch. can give you all these data insights and then some. How do we do it?


Our key is to analyze data in real time at the transaction level. Instead of relying on preloaded, standard practice reminders, we help our vets use their own data and create reminders that work specifically for their patients.  


Here are some ways we help our vets gain data insights:

  1. We translate PMS data into terms that everyone at your practice can understand and use them consistently.
  2. We identify missed pet care opportunities (like missed appointments or overdue vaccinations) using your patients’ appointment histories.
  3. We use your data to create reminders that will work for your patients and practice.

What You Can Do with All Those Data Insights

Once fetch. helps you understand your data, you have the power to use it. You’re able to compare data from different places, improve staff workflows, identify pet care opportunities, send out more effective reminders, and see how well your reminders are working.


fetch. enables you to compare data from different places easily because our data is normalized – meaning that your data is better organized, more accurate, and less redundant. For example, you’ll be able to compare your bordetella vaccination numbers from last year’s first quarter to this year’s, helping you understand how your efforts in that area have helped you improve.


But our data doesn’t just help your workplace. The fetch. system identifies pet care opportunities you may have been missing before. When you have that data, you are able to act on it, sending out well-timed reminders that have a real impact on the health of your patients — and your bottom line.

Our real-time data insights help you run your vet practice smoothly, allowing you to focus on the joy of caring for the pets. No matter the problem—ineffective communication, ignored reminders, or tedious logistics—fetch. is the solution. Schedule a demo today to learn how data insights by fetch. will help you meet and exceed your practice’s goals.

February Is Dental Health Month!

Everyone knows how important dental care is for humans. We’ve seen the scary pictures of people with inflamed gums and perhaps heard the stories of those whose poor dental health contributed to cardiovascular disease.

But do your pet parents understand that their pets have the same dental health needs and similar risks for neglecting those needs?

Chances are they don’t. And that’s why we need National Pet Dental Health Month, an awareness effort sponsored the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) every February. The purpose of the campaign is “to address the significance of oral health care for pets.”

If you’re like many people, you may wonder if awareness months actually make a difference. Kim Thiboldeaux, CEO of the Cancer Support Community, weighed in on the issue. She was speaking specifically of the many cancer awareness months, but her comments can apply to any awareness campaign: “Like a birthday or anniversary, having a time set aside during the calendar year gives some assurance that the disease in question will receive attention. . . . Awareness months do make a difference.”

You can help make a positive difference this February and all year round by reminding your pet parents how important oral health care is for their pets. Four important reminders are to:

  • come in for a yearly checkup
  • look out for oral health problems
  • administer preventative home care
  • understand the importance of anesthesia.

Come in for an Annual Checkup

According to AVMA, pets’ “teeth and gums should be checked at least once a year.” This schedule prevents oral health problems and catches problems early if pets are already showing symptoms.  

Unfortunately, the reality is far from ideal. “It is estimated that over 80 percent [of dogs] have significant oral pathology,” says T. J. Dunn, Jr., DVM. Whether it be gingivitis, early or late periodontitis—you name it, your clients’ pets could have it. Reminding pet parents of this alarming fact will help them understand that annual oral health checkups are vital for pets to get the treatment they need. Because, as Dr. Dunn points out, “the continual presence of bacteria and their associated toxins have a daily impact on the dog’s health.”

Even if pets fall into the lucky 20 percent, with only minor or no oral health problems, a yearly checkup can prevent problems or catch them early. The idea is that pet parents shouldn’t visit the vet just to fix sick pets; they should visit to keep healthy pets healthy!

Look Out for Oral Health Problems

There are times when pet parents shouldn’t wait a whole year before bringing their pets in for dental care. Some problems require immediate attention, but your pet parents may not know what those problems are. Remind pet parents to look out for the following signs:

  • Bad breath
  • Broken or loose teeth
  • Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
  • Teeth that are discolored or covered with tartar
  • Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
  • Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
  • Pain in or around the mouth
  • Bleeding from the mouth
  • Swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth
  • Excessive drooling
  • Tumors on the gums
  • Cysts beneath the tongue

If pet parents observe any of these symptoms, they should make an appointment with you as soon as possible.

Prevention Is Better the Key to Better Dental Health

Of course, it would be best if we didn’t have to see pets for emergency oral health needs. We want our furry friends to have healthy mouths all year round!

Remind pet parents that prevention is better than cure. They can prevent oral health problems by brushing their pets’ teeth and by employing other cleaning helps like chew toys.

Regularly brushing your pet’s teeth is the single most effective thing you can do to keep their teeth healthy between dental cleanings, and may reduce the frequency or even eliminate the need for periodic dental cleaning by your veterinarian,” says the AVMA. Encourage your pet parents to aim for daily brushing, but understand that that may not be possible. If they can only manage several times a week, there are other ways to remove dental plaque and tartar.

Remind pet parents that while there are many products marketed for pet dental health, not all of them are effective. They should ask for your recommendation before as they consider any dental products, chew toys, treats, or dental-specific diets.

Don’t Be Afraid of Anesthesia. It’s Safer than Ever

Have you ever heard this from a pet parent? “I’m afraid my pet will die on the table. I’m too afraid to put him under.”

The risk of anesthesia is a legitimate concern, but pet parents should know that anesthesia-free cleaning simply can’t take care of their pet’s entire mouth.

While the teeth may look cleaner after an anesthesia-free cleaning, more trouble lurks under the surface. “There are other parts of the mouth that haven’t even been examined, let alone cleaned, and those parts can still be diseased,” says Dr. Curt Coffman of Arizona Veterinary Dental Specialists, an AVDC board member

“Though anesthesia (or any medical procedure, really) has risks, it has never been safer or more comfortable,” says Dr. Marty Becker, DVM.

The benefits of anesthesia far outweigh the consequences of a dental cleaning that isn’t thorough. Remind your pet parents that the best choice for their pets’ overall health is to allow you to give them anesthetized dental cleanings.

Help your pet parents understand that oral health care is just as important for pets as it is for people. The difference between them and us is that they don’t have opposable thumbs with which to hold a toothbrush! Remind pet parents to bring their pets in for an annual checkup, look out for oral health problems, administer preventative home care, and understand the importance of anesthesia. Their pets’ pearly whites will be healthier than ever.

6 Reasons for Appointment No-Shows and How to Solve Them

In 2014, the average no-show rate for veterinary practices was 11 percent. In a veterinary practice with just one full-time doctor, that 11 percent will cost you about $41,000 in just one year!  

Want to gain that revenue back? There are a few simple things you can do to reduce no-shows and recover that lost revenue. First, understand why the no-shows are happening. Second, tailor your efforts to the address those reasons. You’ll start to gain that 11 percent back (or more) in no time.

The Cost Is Too High

When Angela Colley noticed her puppy’s extremely bloated belly, she rushed the puppy to the vet. It turned out that her little puppy had gotten into her larger dog’s food.

“My puppy had 4 cups of food in her half-cup stomach,” Angela says. “It wasn’t serious — although bloat can be a very serious condition — but I wasn’t laughing when I got the bill.”  

Like Angela, many clients see bills like this and are shocked at the price. They may prefer to pay the missed appointment fee than get stuck with a bill they can’t afford.

What You Can Do

It might be time for you and your associates to have an honest conversation about costs associated with the care you offer. If you’re sure your prices are on target, consider offering financing and payment plans for your clients.

Another option is to educate your patients about vet care assistance programs. These programs are available all over the country, and there are specific programs for seniors, people with disabilities, and people with serious illness.

They Don’t Understand

Unfortunately, some pet parents have limited health literacy. The reasons differ, but no matter the reason, your responsibility as a veterinary practice is the same: make sure your clients understand not only your instructions but also the seriousness of certain health conditions. If clients don’t understand the necessity of vaccinations, for example, they may not feel the need to come in for their cat’s booster rabies shot.

What You Can Do

Keep in mind that when you ask your clients “Do you understand?” they may just be too embarrassed to admit that they do not. Instead, ask patients to explain what you just said in their own words, then correct as necessary. Tailoring care to clients’ needs and abilities will build a better veterinarian-client-patient relationship, making it more likely that your clients will keep appointments and give their pets home care that follows your instructions.

They Forget

While we might call it a “routine” checkup, there’s nothing routine about something that only happens every six or twelve months. When clients get caught up in the daily grind, it can be so easy for them to forget about an appointment with the vet.

What You Can Do

A study found that “the most popular and effective [methods of helping clients remember appointments] have been reminder calls or mailings.” The bad news is that a good 78 percent of service reminders are ineffective for one reason or another – the reminders might be severely out of date, postcards might get lost in the mail, or inaccurate coding may lead to the wrong reminders being sent to the wrong people. The good news is that fetch. knows how to send out effective reminders! Use fetch. to send out reminders at the right time and in the right way, so your clients won’t ever forget their appointment with you. Schedule a demo with fetch. to see how effective our reminder system works for your practice.

They Can’t Get There

Elderly clients or clients with other restrictions may not have a reliable way to get around. And maybe they usually travel by public transportation, but their regular bus doesn’t allow pets. Whatever the reason, sometimes your clients want to come to their appointment, but they just can’t.

What You Can Do

Keep a list of transportation services in your area – including public transportation, taxi services, etc. – that allow pets and make this list easily accessible to your clients. You might consider sending it out as part of a welcome email to new clients when they make an appointment.

An Unexpected Conflict Came Up

Before leaving the veterinary clinic, it is routine for a pet parent to set up return visits six months down the road. This method of scheduling often leads to schedule conflicts with other unforeseen obligations. When the pet parent realises that their previously scheduled appointment now conflicts with an unexpected obligation, the pet parent doesn’t have time to cancel his appointment—let alone the obligation—so he just doesn’t show up to the appointment.

What You Can Do

If you’re not doing this already, let your clients choose the time; that’s the first step. Then follow up with them a few days before the appointment to make sure they can still make it. They will be able to cancel or reschedule, giving you more foresight about your practice’s schedule.

Their Pet Got Better

When clients make an appointment because their pet is sick, you face a risk: their pet may get better. While that’s great news, it also may mean the client doesn’t feel the need to keep the appointment.

What You Can Do

Follow up before the appointment to learn what the status of the pet is, and be glad the pet is better. After all, healthy pets are what we’re all about!

Also, consider implementing a reasonable missed-appointment policy that you and your clients both agree to. That way, your patients are fully aware of their responsibility to either cancel the appointment well in advance, or keep the appointment when the time comes.  

Making a goal to reduce your practice’s no-show rate is a no-brainer. By understanding the reasons for no-shows at your practice and implementing the appropriate solutions, you’ll see your rates drop, and the health of your patients increase. Make that goal happen today by trying fetch. Schedule a demo with fetch. to experience how the system can increase your practice’s revenue by strengthening the communication with your clients.

5 Pet Health Reminders to Send this Holiday Season

The holiday is an extra special time of year, especially for pets and pet owners. Pet owners often hang stockings for their dogs and cats and spend $5 billion on holiday presents for their loyal companions. It can really be the happiest time of the year… so long as you can navigate the common stressors of family gatherings, schedule upheavals, and traveling, which can be overwhelming during the holiday season. We’ve assembled some common dangers and stressors that pet owners face during the holidays, and each one has a list of tips on how to prevent them. Send these tips out to your clients, and they’ll thank you for their most relaxing holiday season ever.

Travel: Know the Rules and Regulations

Cute happy reddish havanese puppy dog is looking out from a blue and gray pet crate, isolated on white background

Traveling with pets is no easy feat, especially if the pet isn’t used to traveling. Remind your pet parents to ask themselves these questions before they plan to leave on a trip with their pet:

  • Do I have my pet’s health certificate? You will need one for interstate and international travel, even if you’re going by car.
  • Do I have a safe way to restrain my pet in my car? According to, a 60 lb. dog traveling at 35 mph can turn into a 2,700 lb. projectile in an accident. Be sure to use a crate while driving to make sure your pet is safe in case of an accident. While there are many harnesses and doggy seatbelts on the market, these typically do not provide adequate protection in the case of a crash, and only serve to keep the pet from moving all around the car.
  • If I’m traveling by air, have I asked the vet if air travel safe for my pet? Air travel can be risky for some pets, like short-nosed dogs, so owners should consult with their vet before taking off by air. While carrier requirements vary between airlines, there are a variety of approved pet carriers for all airlines.
  • If I’m boarding my dog while I leave, do I know how to protect him from canine flu? Is he up-to-date on his vaccines? You don’t want your dog to catch a disease from a fellow boarder or a relative’s pet.

Food: Resist Your Pet’s Cute Begging Face

For almost any pet, a day in paradise includes eating all the human food they want. Unfortunately, human food at the holidays can be even more dangerous to pets than usual.

Remind your clients to keep these foods away from their pets:

  • Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromide and caffeine, both of which are toxic to pets in large quantities (it is toxic for a dog to consume 10% of its body weight in chocolate).
  • Baked goods: Baked goods may contain xylitol. Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs and can lead to low blood sugar, seizures, liver failure, and even death.
  • Fruits: Fruits like grapes, raisins, and currants also pop up in holiday baking, and they cause sudden kidney failure in dogs and possibly cats and ferrets as well.
  • Yeast dough: If you make your baked goods with yeast dough, watch out. Yeast dough can cause dangerous bloating and painful gas for your pet.
  • Turkey and turkey skin: These tasty foods have been known to cause pancreatitis in pets, even in small amounts

If your pet has been poisoned, he may exhibit these symptoms: “gastrointestinal irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, staggering, disorientation, convulsions, lethargy, loss of appetite, twitching, dilated pupils, ulcers, heart palpitations, and coma.”

Call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline (1-888-426-4435) if you think your pet has been poisoned. A fee may apply.

Tree: Preparation Is the Key

Oh, Christmas Tree, how lovely are your branches—and how dangerous is everything else! Have your clients take these factors into consideration when putting up and maintaining their Christmas tree:

Other Decor: Hide It, Secure It, or Don’t Buy It at All

Some decorations are must-haves. But there are some decorations it may be best to avoid bringing into your home at all. Help your clients choose wisely with these suggestions:

  • Candles are so lovely, but if a curious pet knocks one over, the consequences can be deadly. Be sure to always supervise lit candles.
  • If your pet chews through electric cords, she may receive an electric shock and burn her mouth. What can you do? Dr. Patty Khuly, VMD, says, “Covering [electric cords] with heavy-duty plastic liners helps, but during the holidays I’ve taken to using twinkly indoor lights powered by batteries. There’s only so much damage a pet can do chewing through these.”
  • Some favorite holiday plants—including holly, mistletoe, and poinsettia—are poisonous to dogs or cats. If you plan to decorate with these plants, keep them in an area they can’t reach. Or opt for tasteful artificial versions.

Guests: Care for Your Pet’s Emotional Health, Too

dog welcome home on brown mat

Pets can become stressed when guests suddenly make their environment busier and noisier than usual. Help your clients keep everyone safe with these tips:

  • Set aside a comfortable, quiet place for your pet to escape the commotion. This could be a room or a crate—anywhere your pet knows he can go when the party becomes overstimulating.
  • Make sure your guests know that you have pets or that other guests will be bringing pets. The AVMA says, “Guests with allergies or compromised immune systems (due to pregnancy, disease, or medications/ treatments that suppress the immune system) need to be aware of the pets (especially exotic pets) in your home so they can take any needed precautions to protect themselves.”

Pets bring so much joy, and your clients want to be able to embrace that joy, confident that their pets are safe. When you help your clients keep their travels, food, tree, decorations, and home environments safe for their pets, they’ll know you care, and they’ll make an appointment as soon as the new year rolls around.

Fetch. wishes you are your family a happy holiday season and a happy new year! We hope you stay healthy and safe this holiday season and make wonderful memories with your family and friends.   

Crucial Reminders and Fun Emails You Need to Be Sending Every Year

Sending emails doesn’t have to be a drag—it can be fun! Light-hearted, regular communication with your pet parents via email can foster loyalty and help you in your mission to give pets the best care possible. For starters, hearing from you will remind your clients that you are there for them. If you send the right kinds of emails, you’ll educate your clients on how to be better pet owners, and your customers will grow to appreciate all you do for them and their best animal friend.

Four Fun Emails

Birthday Wishes

Admit it: even if you’re not a birthday person, you can’t help but grin when people wish you a happy birthday. There’s something special about a day that’s just for you! Incorporate this birthday love into the emails you send to your clients. Sending birthday messages will make you stand out compared to other veterinary practices nearby. Devoted pet parents will love the reminder about their furry family member’s special day. A birthday message can also demonstrate to your clients how much time has passed, and get them thinking about any procedures that might be coming due. This could result in their making an appointment for their pet.


Pet owners are eager to learn how they can better care for their pets. You could email out paragraphs of valuable information, but keep in mind that today’s consumers are increasingly visual. Share some of your specialized knowledge in infographic format! Infographics are fun and pleasing to the eye. And lucky you—you specialize in animals, the Internet’s favorite thing to look at! When done well, infographics can communicate a lot of information without much effort from your busy clients. Infographics will not only entertain your clients, but they can also help them understand and care for their pets better. Win-win. Here are some fun ideas to get you thinking. )

Social Media Campaign Collaboration

When it comes to marketing your veterinary services, consistency is key. Make sure all of your communications and marketing assets tell your story. This means that your communications via social media channels, email correspondences, and printed materials will be most effective if they’re all focusing on the same message. So if you’re advertising a cute pet picture contest via your Instagram account, send your clients an email about it, too. This consistency will help them remember what you’re doing, keep you in mind, and want to be part of your community.  

Customized Fun Emails

Nothing fosters loyalty in your clients like the feeling that you care about them as individuals. Customized emails are a perfect way to do that. Here are a few ideas for the types of emails you could send out:

  • Fun facts about your clients’ type of pet (e.g., cool lizard facts to lizard owners, a list of famous dogs for dog owners, featured cat breeds for cat enthusiasts)
  • Special offers to clients based on how long they’ve been with you (e.g., a free pet accessory next time your new customer comes in, a 24 percent discount on a check up for clients who’ve been with you for 24 months or more)

Four Important Reminders

Appointment Reminders

This one sounds like a no-brainer. But if you’re still sending clients home with nothing but an appointment card to remind them of their pet’s next checkup—and that’s all you do—you might consider changing your ways. A slip of paper is likely to get lost long before a year is up; better to use something your clients never let out of their sight. Like their phone.

In 2015, the average American, checked their phone 46 times per day. And with email alerts, your appointment reminder email will pop on on your client’s phone, and they’ll be much more likely to come. Checkups are vital for maintaining a pet’s health, so make sure you’re helping your clients get to them.

Timely Warnings

As the year rolls around, pets face several dangers that their owners may be unaware of (or may just need to be reminded about). Send timely warnings to your clients to remind them to keep their pets safe. They’ll appreciate knowing you’re looking out for their beloved pet. Some of these warnings might include the following:

  • The dangers of leaving pets in a warm car
  • Watching out for involuntary human food consumption, especially during the holidays when it may be harder to keep an eye out
  • Being aware of wasps and yellow jacket stings, especially at the end of the summer

Vaccination Reminders

Send a personalized email to your clients reminding them to schedule vaccination appointments for their pets. This email will vary from pet to pet, but the time it takes to customize and plan these emails is worth it. Maybe you’re already using a patient communication software to cut down on the time this takes. You could cut even more time by using Fetch, which keeps track of your customers and which patients need which services. Sending vaccination reminders will let your clients know that their pet’s health is your first priority.

Customized Emails Based on Pets’ Needs

Send emails about specific pet needs. The topics could range from specific care techniques to diseases to be aware of. These emails won’t be 100 percent customized, but you won’t send them out to everyone; you’ll send tips about birds to bird owners and tips about reptiles to reptile owners, for example. Your clients will learn how to better care for their pet, plus they’ll be reminded of how great you are.

These eight types of emails not only remind your clients that you’re there for them, but they’ll also help pets get the care they need between visits to your office. So start emailing! Contact fetch. today to start sending regular, interesting messages that keep your clients engaged and your patients in top condition. Your clients and their pets will thank you.

Get Your Social Media Clicks in a Row: Four easy ways to use social media to increase your client referrals.

Of all the time spent online, social media makes up a third of it. And with all this scrolling and content sharing, there’s a golden opportunity for you to encourage your clients to refer their friends to you—all from the comfort of their own phone screens.

But just how can social media help you get more tails in your office? It’s simple! First, reach the right people. Second, do the right things. Here’s how.

Reach people who’ll fetch what you’re throwing.

When it comes to referrals, reaching your pet parents is the first step. After all, they’re the ones who will be referring your practice to their pet-owning friends. The second step is to reach the people who aren’t your clients—yet.

While any social media presence is good, some platforms won’t reach your clients or potential clients. So be selective. Choose social media platforms that fit the demographic of your clients and will make your potential clients want to bring their furry friends to you.


If most of your clients are between the ages of 25 and 54, Facebook may be a good option for you. Currently, 62.3% of American adults actively use a facebook account (see chart below). A recent study shows that 70% use Facebook daily (including 45% who visit the platform several times a day). Facebook is versatile: it allows you to publish ads, distribute information, and interact with your clients and potential clients.

Especially useful is Facebook’s ability to target ads at individuals according to their interests and online behavior. With millions of users liking and following pages like Dogs World, Cat Lovers, and The Pet Collective, that’s a significant number of pet owners you could be targeting right now. The important relationship between businesses and facebook cannot be overstated especially for website traffic because 1 in 5 page views in the US occur on Facebook.


Dr. Evan Antin has been called Instagram’s “hottest vet”; he’s traveled around the world and treated animals in exotic locals, taking pictures along the way. Those photos have earned him over a million followers on Instagram. Other vets, clinics, and schools have followed his lead, building Instagram followings with photos of themselves working with patients.

Taking to Instagram doesn’t have to mean becoming a globetrotter. Animal photos by themselves draw in huge crowds. Chloe “The Mini Frenchie” has over 179 thousand followers. And if your goal is to educate, infographics are a great way to mix up your posts. The key is to focus on posts that are visually appealing. Show don’t tell. Here are some good examples of infographics for Instagram. But you don’t have to stick to just infographics, who doesn’t like images of cute animals?


Twitter is a great platform for engaging with your customers in real time: answering questions, starting conversations, and generally letting your customers know that the folks at the vet are genuine people (and genuine animals)! Dr. Michael Lucroy tweets out articles, quotes, and images concerning pet care to his nearly 8 thousand followers, as does Dr. Debra Horwitz to her 2,251 (and there are more vets where that came from). Building a similar following takes time, but can be well worth the effort. It’s just one more way to pump out material to attract more attention.


LinkedIn takes a more professional approach to social media than the other platforms, showcasing the serious side of your veterinary clinic. There are over 16,000 veterinary businesses already registered on the website. The networking site increases your referrals, generates testimonials, and drives potential clients to your network.

You know how your dog loves human food?

Pets have their preferred tastes, and so do people. The type and frequency of the posts you publish can make a night-and-day difference in the response you get online. It’s important to remember that social media isn’t just for marketing your practice and that customers respond well and are drawn to content besides promotional content.

Focus on content that builds trust, engagement, and community. Include user-generated content, post at peak times, publish job openings, and use social media share buttons. Make these best practices part of your social media routine, and your clients will help you gain pets to help.

1. Post user-generated content.

Asking your followers to submit content that you then post helps boost trust in your community and shows there’s a human behind the username. You could ask your followers and clients to post pictures of their pets doing tricks, submit tips for training their pets, or even tell the story of their pet’s adoption. Whatever it is, getting your customers involved will help them feel part of their community. This will encourage them to invite their friends to join that community by becoming your clients.

2. Post at peak times.

Peak usage times for social media channels may surprise you. It varies by the day and platform, of course, but here is a summary of the best times to post in your time zone:

  • Facebook peak hours: 1 PM to 4 PM
  • Twitter: Monday through Thursday, 1 PM to 3 PM
  • LinkedIn: Tuesday through Thursday

Posting at these times will make it more likely for your followers to see and respond to your posts. So when you tweet, “Tell your friends about us!” you’ll get a retweet and a twittering canary in your office for a checkup the next day.

3. Post job openings.

Who doesn’t want to work in a veterinary clinic? Posting about your job openings is a great way to get your followers to tell their friends about you. A natural bonus: once you hire that friend of your client’s, they’ll tell their friends to come to you, too!

4. Make it easy.

Don’t make your clients jump through hoops to tell their friends about you. Put social media share buttons on your website and maybe even in your brick-and-mortar office so that clients don’t even have to think about telling their friends how great you are.

Fetch knows that taking care of animals means everything to you. So don’t let the opportunity to care for more of them slip by! Talk to us today about how to communicate better with the clients you have and the clients you hope to bring in. Reach the right audience and follow the steps to give them a memorable social media experience. Your clients will help the reach of your care extend to more pets than you ever imagined.

Owning Your Practice: How to Improve Workflow and Client Relations

We might not be able to “talk to the animals,” but that doesn’t mean you can get away with not knowing how to communicate with your clients. According to the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, schools and CVMs alike are looking for applicants with strong communication skills. That’s because, as Karen Schuder, EdD, MDiv, MAM, writes, “Even in a profession focused on animals, the ability to communicate effectively is vital to client and staff relationships.”

Of course, this means more than just face-to-face discussion. Much of your interaction with clients will be done electronically, through voice, text, and email messages. If you have a practice management system (PMS), then you’re already familiar with these communications. However, you might not be communicating as effectively as you can. With the use of fetch., you can continue doing the most important work – taking excellent care of your patients – while fetch.analyzes and maintains your patient data to identify actionable health care opportunities, save you money by making clinic workflows more efficient, and using the “Voice of Authority” to set yourself apart.

Use data automation to your advantage.

There are pages and pages of data that come through your practice on a daily basis. This information can help you understand your clients—what they respond to in messaging—and identify missed opportunities to improve the health of your patients and increase client loyalty and potential revenue.

The fetch. platform takes this data coming through your practice each day and turns it into real insights for your business. Which of your patients are behind on their vaccinations? Who is overdue on parasite prevention or diagnostic testing? How many of your patients haven’t visited your practice in the last year – or longer? With fetch., you can quickly and easily identify opportunities to take immediate action to serve your patients and improve your business.

Beyond that, fetch. identifies actionable opportunities for continued loyalty and patient health; segments client and patient information to aid in tailored communication; provides key performance indicators at the practice, client, and patient level; and delivers easy to understand financial reporting for your practice.

Save time and money.

The Center for Health Workforce Studies reports that in “an efficient system, veterinarians minimize the amount of work they do that can instead be done by a person with less training.” Take a moment to consider how your employees are spending their time. Are they spending it one on one with clients and their pets? Hopefully; it’s what they studied and trained for, after all.

The fetch. platform aims to improve your clinic’s workflow efficiency by reducing overhead costs, such as staff time spent making phone calls. No one goes to school dreaming of writing emails or calling clients to remind them about appointments at the clinic. That’s why fetch. wants to free them to do what their passion led them to: caring for pets.

That’s not to mention the additional revenue from improving client loyalty. It’s no secret that it costs more to gain new customers than to retain old ones. What’s more, repeat customers are simply more valuable. As Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company reported, a 5 percent increase in customer retention leads to profits increasing by more than 25 percent. “Why? Return customers tend to buy more from a company over time.” Just think of how much better you could care for three old patients, which, in turn, helps you solidify the fiscal health of your practice.

Remember, YOU are the voice of authority.

If you were to call any one of your clients right now to talk to them about their pet’s health, would they stop and listen to you? Of course they would! You, as the veterinarian, are the authority in your community on pet health and well-being. You have the voice of authority, and with fetch., you can use it to educate your clients on the latest and greatest information in pet health.

We get it: it’s nearly impossible to reach out to every single one of your clients without at least a little help from automated communication. While other client communication products simply layer onto the existing PMS reminders – which are often outdated – fetch.accurately identifies real-time reminders and reaches out to 100% of your patient population! By utilizing the “Voice of the Vet” function of fetch., you can easily provide tailored and updated communication to your clients in the most powerful way possible: through your own voice!

By leveraging the power of data automation and your own voice as the leader of pet health in your community, you can begin to realize the breadth of opportunity that you can be missing out on and begin leveraging your messaging to drive business, both new and old, back into your practice. Contact us today to see how fetch.can help you improve patient care!

Using Data to Find and Capitalize on Opportunities

In our technologically-intertwined world today, data is king. Your practice is a wealth of information that can be pivotal in making key decisions to drive growth into your company. All you have to do is take the plunge and make sense of it. Easy, right?

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to manually delve into the day-to-day data that your office collects and hope to make heads or tails of it. There’s just too much of it! However, with bigger and better technology, it’s becoming easier to interpret your data and turn it into real, actionable information that will help you enhance your community’s health as well as grow your practice’s bottom line.

So, what kind of benefits can you expect to receive when you begin to realize the power of your data?

Identifying Those Missed Opportunities

The concept of a missed opportunity is pretty simple: it’s any chance to grow your company that you might have overlooked. Sure, missed opportunities are commonplace in business, but the measure of success is the ability to navigate and mitigate those missed opportunities. You need to know how to use the tools available to you to help drive ingenuity and innovation in your practice.

Do you know how many missed vaccine opportunities you had last week? Do you know how many lapsed patients you have in your practice? These are both examples of missed opportunities that could potentially help you drive more value into your business. More importantly, you can have more impact on the health of your patients with this information.. From the business perspective, you need to be able to review relevant data that is accessible and easy to understand so you can avoid missed opportunities in the future.

Data’s Role in Managing Missed Opportunities

There is a massive wave of technology targeting the pet industry in recent years. CB Insights reports there are now over 70 pet tech startups looking to help improve pet health. It’s a headache to address all the things that go into running a business like inventory management, practice software, and minimizing overhead—you probably weren’t thinking about these things when you went to school to become a vet!

However, utilizing these technologies is imperative to running a successful practice today. Your practice management system can and should be an integral tool in identifying missed opportunities within your data, and Fetchcare is a great complimentary tool to help ensure patient success. We have an unparalleled mastery of the big data that lives within your PMS and we know how to provide you with new, personalized insights. This data application shows you the demographics of your practice for patients and clients. From there, we can seamlessly identify actionable opportunities that should be targeted within each patient’s visit, allowing you to construct a more successful and lucrative practice and provide more informed care to your clients

Using Data for Improved Communication

We understand that it has been a standard veterinary practice to rely on automated reminders from your PMS. It’s not incredibly difficult to reach out individually to clients about their appointments. But how are you managing the accuracy of your outreach?  Do you know if it is even working?

You should be leveraging your data to craft better-targeted communication with your clients to drive growth in your practice. We conducted a study into unveiling some key missed opportunities in veterinary practices and found that more personalized and fresh communication drove up key growth factors like annual checkups, dental routines, and vaccinations significantly. If you could take the average client visit from one time a year to two times per year and retrieve lapsed patients through stronger education and personalized messaging, what do you think that could mean for your practice?

The data living in your PMS is the most valuable asset that you have for constructing a successful veterinarian practice. By utilizing that data to identify missed opportunities and develop a more personalized outreach program, you can begin to realize strategies that are working and, perhaps more importantly, the ones that are not. Contact us today to take advantage of this info and revolutionize your practice!