37-78% of the pet owners do not give preventatives to their cats or dogs… While we do have efficient options to prevent certain infectious diseases, our main problem is that most pet owners don’t use them at all!
This is where you guys in shelters will play a tremendous role. Don’t think : “Hey, the veterinarian will probably tell the owners about the risk.” Sure, your role is NOT to tell the adopters which product or which protocol they should use as a preventative.
However, you MUST tell them why it is important to take measures to prevent the risk related to infectious disease. They need to hear it so they become aware of it.
Many pet owners / adopters are indeed under the impression that when they adopt their new pet out, this one is fully protected… and that’s why, when it comes to the use of preventatives or vaccination, they simply do not follow up. This can become even a bigger deal when they don’t visit their veterinarian.
One of the big pillars preventive care stands on is definitely infectious disease prevention. The risk is real, and to make it even more complicated, can vary depending on the geographical area you are in. Again, your role here is essential in order to raise awareness. During the adoption, you will have the opportunity to tackle this topic. Again you are the first line of prevention: seize this opportunity.
Remember that some of those diseases (parvo, Lyme and other tick-borne problems, heartworm…, and the list could go on and on) are deadly! Raising the pet owners’ awareness might lead them to continue the discussion with their veterinarian, who will be able to tailor the infectious disease prevention measures.