I guess it comes as no surprise that not just vets like apps – pet owners really like apps (and sometimes a little too much, like when they won’t get off their phone in the exam room!).
Acknowledging that and being aware of how mobile technology can help your clients be better informed pet owners is a great way to build rapport and increase compliance.
Here are five mobile apps that your clients could benefit from:
1. Dosecast by Montuno Software
Dosecast is an elaborate medication reminder originally designed for human patients. The app allows clients to compile a list of drugs, along with their dosages, photos and any remarks (e.g., give with food, etc.) and set reminders for each of them for the duration of the therapy.
The free version is limited to medications in pill form only. The premium version allows clients to track medications given via injections, inhalers, drops, sprays, ointments, patches and liquid doses, as well as compiling medication lists for several animals. For those clients with pets on complicated medication schedules, this app could be a lifesaver.
Want to really shine? Step one: Train your client service representatives to set up accounts and enter medication information for your clients at checkout. Step two: make room in your kitchen for a constant supply of thank-you goodies.
2. Pet Pal by Apps on Toast
Your hyper-organized clients might enjoy the Pet Pal app designed to help them keep track of everything regarding their pet’s health including their weight, medications and medical history in a mobile platform.
The app also enables the user to set reminders for various appointments and treatments and store important phone numbers. A particularly useful feature is the integrated map, which helps to locate the nearest veterinary clinic/groomer/pet supplies store.
At the moment, this app is only available for Android devices, but there are several similar apps, free and otherwise, for iPhone users as well (Pet Fetch is a good example).
3. Pet First Aid by Jive
Jive’s comprehensive Pet First Aid app presents a variety of emergency scenarios and offers advice on how to give first aid in any particular situation. It also teaches
owners how to monitor their pet’s vitals (heart and respiration rate, pulse, mucous membranes) and includes a list of supplies for a pet emergency kit.
The app comes with 15 instructional videos. As with any content you did not author, we recommend familiarizing yourself with the app to make sure you agree with medical suggestions before recommending it to clients.
<Editor's note: this app appears to be discontinued at this time.>
4. PupTox by Eric Salerno
PupTox is another potentially great educational tool for responsible pet parents. It provides information on over 200 poisonous substances with a slick graphical presentation indicating toxicity severity.
It includes a chocolate toxicity calculator and call buttons for you and the ASPCA Pet Poison Helpline. As with Pet First Aid, review this app prior to recommending to clients to be sure you agree with the medical content.
BONUS: The brilliant Pet Poison HelpLine App would have made this list had it not already been covered!
5. Your Clinic’s Very Own App
Whether you are a primary care or referral practice, veterinary hospital apps should be on your radar. These bring a whole new level of client communication and a great way of engaging the new, mobile generation of pet owners.
App templates are available from many developers and vary in terms of their capabilities, but most of them will enable clients to schedule appointments, request prescription refills, submit pictures of their pet, and communicate with your clinic via social networks, as well including a tap-to-call button and directions to your clinic. With all that said, the real star is the ability to reach clients with push notifications.
Interested? Check out HAPPYVET by In-Touch Mobile and some of the other clinic apps available in the iTunes and Google Play stores.
About the Author
Dr. Marit Veeber is a small animal clinician from Estonia. Her special interests include emergency and internal medicine. In her spare time she likes to read, hike, take pictures of stuff and play around with mobile apps. She also tweets about veterinary medicine and manages social media for the European Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society.