How can I use the Blue Dog in my practice?
There are many opportunities for you to benefit from using the Blue Dog programme within the practice.
In common with introducing any new initiative within a clinic, it is important that all members of staff (veterinarians, nurses and receptionists) are familiar with the concepts and so are totally "on-board". A presentation to the staff might be of value, and a power-point presentation is available in the downloads section.
New Puppy consultations
This is a time that clients will generally want to soak up a mass of information, so providing written sheets within puppy packs is often useful (see downloads section for brochure ideas). They will also find it difficult to accept that this jolly bundle of fluff would ever bite their child – so do not alienate them. Just mention the potential problem, maybe by suggesting they can sometimes react in an unexpected way if the circumstances are right.
The Blue Dog website is a good source of information with videos on puppy behaviour as well as a wealth of other information and this may be a positive way to introduce the Blue Dog at this time.
Many of the points made above are also valid for puppy parties. You might consider giving a copy of the CD/Parent guide free of charge to puppy party participants (or incorporate the cost into the fee for the puppy parties).
The practice may arrange occasional evenings for clients when a short presentation is given as part of a social evening. The Blue Dog is an interesting topic that makes a change from fleas or worms!
Check out the download section for a power-point presentation you can adapt. There are also graphics you can download to help design posters for the event.
These should be fun events giving you an opportunity to show off your clinic to clients (and potential clients). Catering for children is an important aspect of a successful day. The interactive Blue Dog CD-ROM may prove popular with children while introducing the concepts to their parents. As well as this, if internet access is available, children could play on the interactive games on the “children’s corner” of the website.
The practice may take part in community events such as town shows or dog shows. The scope and style of any stand will depend on the specific venue but the Blue Dog graphics may help to make any posters or display eye-catching. School projects.
The Blue Dog website has a specific “Teachers’ Toolbox” with information about how the Blue Dog can be used in schools as part of the curriculum. It incorporates ideas of how schools can work with local veterinary practices.
This may involve you or your staff visiting local schools, or perhaps groups of school children visiting your clinic. Maybe you should check if the local infant and primary schools are familiar with this useful resource.
Website as a client information resource
The Blue Dog website has already been discussed in relation to the puppy behaviour, the children’s corner and the Teachers’ Toolbox. However there is so much more. It is a very “pro-veterinary” site, trying to highlight the different services on offer and the sort of information you, as the veterinarian, would want to know in the event of illness of the family dog.
There are sections on changes in the family, such as pregnancy or moving house, as well as loss of a pet. Clients will inevitably check things out on the internet – so why not encourage them to use a site where the information is non-commercial and generally scientifically sound.