Importance of client opinion and perception

Client perception is key in all aspects of veterinary medicine. Veterinarians and their staff lose credibility if they are unable to compassionately handle active, fractious, fearful, and distressed animals. Clients are disinclined to return if their pet was fearful, if their pet threatened/injured staff, or if the veterinarian was angry or uncomfortable. Clients judge clinical expertise, at least in part, on how their pet is handled and responds to the veterinarian. Unfortunately, surveys indicate that clients typically rely on nonclinically trained individuals instead of veterinarians for advice on pet behavior problems. 6–8 These guidelines provide practitioners with tools to help reverse that trend.