The German Veterinary Clinic (GVC) has recently launched the ‘Pet Health Club’ with the aim of promoting and rewarding the benefits of preventative pet health care, both for animal and Owner.
Regular preventative care is proven to aid pet health and support positive animal welfare. Unfortunately, this is an area that is often overlooked with pet owners struggling for time or financial pressure to schedule those routine health checks and services. Like so many aspects in life, waiting to cure rather than acting to prevent becomes a far more stressful and expensive option.
The Pet Health Club is an adapted form of the Pet Healthcare Plans commonly found in the UK. The intention of the ‘traditional’ pet health plan is to provide a calendar of scheduled preventative activities throughout a 12 month period which create regular touch-points for veterinary professionals and animals through (primarily) quarterly visits, including vaccinations and parasite treatments.
This is a methodology that has proven popular for many and works for both the convenience of regular and reduced payments (normally via direct debit) and the ability to plan and schedule a structured approach to pet healthcare.
However, GVC recognised that whilst the concept was certainly required in the UAE, the rigid structure was not really suitable here. The Pet Health Club was therefore designed as a means of providing a flexible and affordable way to access the highest quality preventative pet care through an annual membership that offers the key ‘routine’ services such as vaccinations, parasite control, dentistry, health checks and many more at very preferential rates.
Recognising the impact of both the climate and socio-economic situation of the UAE is also important and these were influential factors in why the Pet Health Club has moved away from the usual structured 12-month ‘lock-in’ approach. The option-based package with a minimal upfront payment allows owners to choose what is right for their pet, based on seasonality and the recommendations made by their vet care provider. Certainly the ‘cookie cutter’ approach of a structured pet health plan would not always be appropriate for different animal species (and breeds), for example where regular grooming can be a key preventative treatment when dealing with the summer heat, as well as the requirements of their owners when family relocation may be a possibility and a long term commitment may seem prohibitive.
Education is therefore an important component and is supported by exclusive communication for Pet Health Club members, which enables members to interact with the GVC’s vets and nurses and receive further regular advice and recommendations from the team.
The idea was conceived following discussion and input with one of GVC’s preferred partners, the UK based Vet Dynamics.
Dr Katrin (Owner and Head Veterinary Doctor at GVC) explains: “Our relationship with Vet Dynamics has enabled the GVC team to benefit from innovative ideas and a wealth Of knowledge and experience from more than 100 of the UK’s high performing veterinary practices. We attend bi-monthly workshops in the UK and always leave with fresh ideas and inspiration based on the tried and tested methodologies ot UK industry leaders. We know that by adopting and adapting the strategies of the UK veterinary industry, we are raising standards and the awareness of best practice within the UAE.”
One area that is often overlooked within care plans (and pet care in general) but that GVC has recognised within the PHC is the importance Of regular dental care. This is why discounted dentistry is one of the many benefits that Pet Health Club members receive. GVC has invested into specialist equipment and training for their team to ensure that dental issues can be diagnosed and treated effectively.
The Pet Health Club is the first of its kind in the UAE and an important step to improving the delivery and understanding of preventative pet care within the region.