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Issue: 43 - Jul 16, 2012
Heat up marketing activities for the summer
By: Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, Contributing Writer
Ruth E. Thaler-Carter

It’s hot time in the summertime – and then some, in many parts of the country.  The brutal summer weather, fires and major storms of recent months, along with all the traditional summer activities so popular around the nation, present great service and marketing opportunities for savvy veterinarians. It’s time to heat up your marketing efforts by focusing on such seasonal elements.


Animals are as subject to summertime heat-related conditions and illnesses as people, if not more so. Getting the word out about the dangers of summertime will help animals and position your practice as one that cares about much more than the income generated by patient visits.


Crises such as fires, hurricanes, storms and other events also present special risks to people’s pets. There have been plenty of these events in recent weeks. It’s always heartening to see emergency responders and the general public step up to help animals in the wake of such events, and you can among them.

  • Think about offering your local newspaper and broadcast outlets a column on how to protect animals from heatstroke, injuries from walking or playing on hot outdoor surfaces, ticks picked up in parks and on trails, etc.
  • Consider recording a public service announcement about the dangers of leaving animals in closed cars at this time of year – it’s never a great idea, of course, but it’s deadly very quickly when the temperatures hit the 80s and 90s, as they already have done in many places, especially with high humidity. Remind people that it can take only a few minutes for a dog to become dangerously dehydrated when confined in a closed car, even with the window cracked open a couple of inches.
  • Let people know that bringing pets, especially dogs, to crowded outdoor events is not the best idea, no matter how sociable their animals usually are. Artfests, outdoor theater performances and concert events often have no-pets rules, but those rules are usually ignored far more often than they’re observed or enforced. The reality is that most animals do not enjoy big crowds and loud music, and even the most mild-mannered dog can get cranky and temperamental in those conditions.
  • Put together something about safeguarding pets in a crisis, whether it’s a fire, hurricane, electrical storm, blackout or other weather event, and the importance of collars, microchips and “Pets Inside” signs in such situations. Consider volunteering your practice’s services to care for clients’ animals during such crises, and volunteering with local shelters or emergency responders to look after animals left homeless by these events. Do it because you love animals, of course, but don’t forget to mention it at your practice website or in your newsletter!

Any of these topics or activities can be the makings of not only articles and press releases for local reporters but ones for your blog, practice newsletter and/or your practice website, as well as YouTube, Facebook and other social media sites that you use – or should be using – to promote your practice and services. They also might make interesting case study presentations for meetings of professional organizations.


Here’s to a summer where the livin’ is easy – and safe – for the animals in your care.


Ruth E. Thaler-Carter ( is an award-winning freelance writer/editor who writes for ImproMed and the American Animal Hospital Association, among other organizations and publications.