What Do Pet Parents Want? Results of an AVMA Survery


So, what do you really want or expect of your veterinarian? The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Pet Owner Attitude Survey was conducted to get inside the minds of pet parents. And many of the results are totally eye-opening, confirming the weight of established relationships with veterinary professionals.

Here are three points of data:

88 percent of pet owners agree that having the veterinarian physically examine their pet and talk to them in person leads to the best care. Only four percent disagree, and eight percent were neutral.

88 percent of pet parents “get it,” and feel more confident in a diagnosis when the veterinarian has met the pet before a telehealth visit and have a veterinary client patient relationship. This data point is overwhelming and flies in the face of those proponents of telehealth for pets who insist that a veterinary client patient relationship isn’t necessary. Yes, pet parents are increasingly embracing telehealth but they want a veterinary professional they know and who most important knows their pet on the other side of the iPad, iPhone or computer screen.

79 percent of pet owners prefer that a veterinarian – not someone else – like a veterinary version of a physician’s assistant (which is being thought about in veterinary medicine) to oversee their pet’s care. Only seven percent disagree, and 14 percent have no opinion at this time.

Many third party direct to consumer companies are getting into the act, offering inexpensive and near immediate responses to offer veterinary advice and often a diagnosis and treatment plan. The problem is there is no prior relationship, so how accurate can an opinion or diagnosis be? Pet parents do seek immediate answers, but lots and lots of people get it – at least if they stop to consider the notion – pet’s can’t describe what they’re feeling and we not as good as describing what the pet is feeling as one might think. And available medical records are important.

Here are more details regarding red flags of telehealth without a personal relationship with the professional on the call. And these red flags are significant.