We are all familiar with welcoming a new client to your practice – but what about the existing client with a new pet? I think it’s very important to recognize that special time in your client’s home life: the “getting to know you” period with a new animal in the house! They’ll probably be full of questions: maybe it’s been a while since they went through the puppy or kitten phase. Maybe they have another pet at home and need help making the introductions. If the new pet is an adult dog or cat, it brings an established personality, some anxiety about change, and possibly some latent health issues. Your client needs to know that your expertise and experience are available to them, to help make this adoption work out for everybody.

The sense of feeling important goes straight to the heart of the human condition. Be sure your client knows that you are not taking their loyalty for granted. New pet, new vet – it could be an easy transition. I have even heard stories of people who were so torn up after the death of a beloved pet that they didn’t want to go back to the old hospital where the memories, especially the last ones, were made. Recognize the fact that the client still trusts you and wants you to be the one taking care of their four-footed family.

Now, what if this new pet comes after the loss of another one? Everyone copes differently with the loss of a beloved pet: some have a new pup or kitten within a week, others swear they’ll never do it again, some just want a cooling-off period for their hearts to heal. Whatever the case, some encouragement with the new one will be very welcome.

We have lots of greeting card designs that show happy, healthy pets, and our stock message reads:

Congratulations on your New Friend!

We’re here to help you share

a long and happy lifetime together!

Please feel free to call us with any questions

about your pet’s health and well-being.

If you’d like us to custom print your new pet message, we can add very useful information like training classes you offer, spay/neuter special offers, or behavior consulting.

Some ideas for how to word the message you write in your cards:

Thank you for bringing Sparky in to visit with us today, it was an honor to care for her and we can’t wait to see her again real soon!

What fun to see Lucy for the very first time. We are looking forward to seeing her for her next checkup on [date] – she’ll already be bigger!

Sampson is such a great dog, and what an honor it was to see him today for the first time! Everyone is so excited to watch him grow up into a strong, healthy dog.

If you mention a previous pet in your hand-written personal note, keep it positive: “Lebowski is such an interesting dog! Moffat would be very proud of you for rescuing him!” Or: “Emma was one of a kind, and JoJo looks like she has a great spark of her own!” If the client bursts into tears when the deceased pet is mentioned at all . . . just leave it alone. “We are all going to enjoy watching JoJo grow up!” is all you need to say. You know your clients, you’ll have a sense of what is appropriate for each person.

New Pet cards, I’ll admit, are not a practice staple, but they are the kind of “Above and beyond” attention that builds great client relationships. It’s an easy and effective way to convey your care about that new owner-pet relationship over the long term – and to strengthen your bond with the client over the life of that pet.

What are some other personalized messages you can use on a new pet card? Have you been using new pet cards, and if so, is a there a particular message that you’ve found to resonate favorably with new pet owners? We’d love to hear about it!

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