Mind Over Miller: 5 quick client tips

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Aug 01, 2012

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Over the course of a long career, I learned some practical client tips. Some were my original concepts; others I learned from others along the way. In any event, they are all useful and proven with experience.

Dr. Robert M. Miller and Rosie.

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1. TRY PEANUT BUTTER

Photos by Getty Images.

Many clients own dogs that are hard to give oral tablets or capsules to. After I retired from practice, I learned that concealing the medication in a glob of peanut butter worked for most dogs. I tried it and was impressed with the results. (Of course, avoid this if a family member has a peanut allergy.)

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2. DIVIDE UP THAT HOT DOG

Another good trick for clients with hard-to-pill dogs is to use three pieces of hot dog. (I am referring to a frankfurter, not the patient.) Slit one piece and conceal the medication inside of it. Give a piece devoid of medication, then the medicated piece, and immediately after the third nonmedicated piece.

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3. TRIM A NAIL A DAY

Nail trims are a grooming procedure, not a medical procedure (unless they bleed, in which case they become a surgical procedure). Many clients would like to trim their pets’ nails but are afraid to, especially when their pets becomes frantic. Here’s a good tip. Have clients conservatively trim one—only one—nail just before feeding. Make it a constant ritual—a dinner bell. It works!

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4. USE A HEAD COLLAR

Angel wearing Gentle Leader: Photo by Alison Fulton.

Advise your clients to get the Gentle Leader head collar (Premier Pet Products) to train their dogs. It is available with an instructional booklet and a video. It is the simplest and most quickly effective training method I have found. But tell your clients to follow the instructions. The most common failure I encountered was when a client abandoned the method because the dog “didn’t like it.” It works—if it is correctly used.

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5. COME IN FOR A TREAT

For dogs that are paralyzed with fear when they arrive at a veterinary facility, have a bowl of small healthy, highly palatable doggy treats on the counter in the reception area. Label it “For dogs only.” Ask the owners of fearful dogs to bring their pets by frequently for a treat. Instruct the receptionists to be generous with the treats. I got this idea from a pediatrician who had chocolates in his waiting room. The kids loved to stop by, but the dentist next door wasn’t so happy about it.