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AVMA, AAHA, 90 Veterinary Health Organizations Urge Annual Checkups for Family Pets

CHICAGO, July 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — With reports of pet obesity, diabetes and cancer on the rise, officials of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and more than 90 organizations across all levels of the veterinary profession have joined together to form Partners for Healthy Pets (PHP), a group that today previewed a public information campaign urging pet owners to schedule annual checkups for their cats and dogs.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity for the veterinary care community,” said Ron DeHaven, DVM, Chief Executive Officer of the AVMA and chairman of the partnership. “It’s a platform for all of us to communicate the importance of preventive care to pet owners, to enhance the relationships we share with them, and ultimately to deliver even higher quality preventive care.”

Dr. DeHaven reinforced the campaign’s core message, “Annual checkups give veterinarians the opportunity to detect and treat disease and conditions before they become expensive, life threatening problems for pets.” He noted, “Pets age much faster than humans, so disease and crippling conditions come on faster too. That’s why we’re urging pet owners to make annual veterinary checkups part of their health care routine. Annual checkups are a simple, effective way for pet owners to ensure that their pets receive veterinary care when it can do the most good.”

The new public information campaign was introduced to the veterinary profession at the AVMA’s annual conference in Chicago. The two-part campaign includes a tool kit to help the veterinary healthcare team better communicate the need for annual checkups with their clients and a fully integrated direct to consumer communications program designed to engage pet owners with their veterinarians.

Veterinarians have been urged to join the campaign and access the toolbox by enrolling at: http://www.partnersforhealthypets.org/ or through their distributor or industry sales representative.

Dr. DeHaven said the consumer campaign is a thoughtful, positive reminder to pet owners that their pets need veterinary care throughout their lives. The multi-million dollar integrated communications campaign will begin this fall in print and online. The campaign will also incorporate veterinarians in an extensive PR effort with news media and talk shows.

About the AVMA
The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with more than 84,000 member veterinarians worldwide engaged in a wide variety of professional activities and dedicated to the art and science of veterinary medicine.

About AAHA
Founded by seven leaders in the veterinary industry, AAHA has been committed to excellence, promoting high-quality standards, improving pet care and supporting small animal practices since 1933. AAHA serves approximately 5,500 practice teams in the U.S. and Canada, over half of which are accredited, comprised of more than 50,000 veterinary care providers. AAHA is dedicated to professional development, hospital accreditation standards, and excellent education programs.

About Partners for Healthy Pets
Partners for Healthy Pets is a committee of the non-profit American Veterinary Medical Foundation created to ensure that pets receive regular preventive healthcare. The organization believes that annual checkups can lead to disease prevention and early detection so that pet owners and their pets can enjoy a longer and healthier life together.

SOURCE Partners for Healthy Pets

Web Site: http://www.partnersforhealthypets.org

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