A Bond-Centered Practice supports and responds to the emotional needs created by the human-animal bond. The practice of veterinary medicine is complex. Along with medical expertise, today’s veterinarians must also be well informed about legal issues, customer service techniques, personnel management, and successful business principles.
The overall health and success of a practice is often defined by the results of this knowledge, which include animals’ lives saved, valuable staff retained, and annual profits gained. However, there is another significant measurement of professional achievement. That is, a practice’s ability to care for people, as well as animals.
What is a Bond-Centered Practice?
A Bond-Centered Practice prioritizes people and the bonds they form. It considers the family-pet bond, the family-pet-veterinary team bond, and the bonds between veterinarians and members of their staff. A Bond-Centered Practice believes that managing and supporting these relationships is a priority. In fact, it is as much a priority as providing high-quality medical treatment for animals. This focus on building and healing the relationships that stem from the human-animal bond forms the heart of a Bond-Centered Practice.
The heart of veterinary practice is not often discussed. After all, it’s much easier to write a business plan than to craft a value system about relationships. But, a business plan doesn’t address human emotions. It can’t comfort a grieving child when her beloved cat dies. It can’t save a misbehaving puppy from a fatal sojourn at the local animal shelter. More and more of today’s veterinarians sincerely want to help their clients deal with emotional, pet-related situations. In fact, most recognize that it is the power of the human-animal bond that brings clients to their hospital in the first place. If this is true, then there is a moral and ethical responsibility to respond to their clients’ emotional needs when the bond is threatened or broken in some way.
If you share this belief, you know how important it is for you and your staff to learn how to provide skilled emotional support for your clients and their families. Emotional support that is specific and pertinent to veterinary practice is based on a combination of clinical communication skills and emotional support tools and protocols.
A paw print set in clay is a tangible symbol of your compassionate care.
Choosing products like ClayPaws Kits provides your clients with the highest-quality client support tool available and reflects well on you and the care your practice provides, especially during patient illness or end-of-life care.
You know from experience that the bond between you and your clients is vulnerable during patient end-of-life care. Studies say clients who feel they have been treated with disrespect or indifference during their pet’s illness, death or euthanasia are less likely to return to a veterinary practice. Making a ClayPaws print shows your clients you support their feelings of grief before, during and after a pet’s end-of-life care.
Our company, World by the Tail, Inc., was created to meet the ever-growing need for client support tools that help your Bond-Centered Practice honor the human-animal bond. Our line of Veterinary Wisdom pet loss products have not only helped pet parents, they’ve helped you and your team confidently provide grief support for your clients.
We made the first paw print impression almost 30 years ago. It was made from expensive, messy casting material and it was blue! Even with its imperfections, it meant the world to the grieving client who received it.
25 Years of Expertise!
Making clay paw prints has come a long way from that first, crude specimen. On April 28th, 2022, we will celebrate our 25th Anniversary! For 25 years, ClayPaws prints have allowed you to capture the love of a pet and to provide a tangible reminder of that love. You honor the bond between pet parents and their pets by gifting them something to hold onto after they say goodbye. And, by using ClayPaws Clay to provide the highest-quality, longest-lasting paw print memento available, you are sure to create the loyalty you want your clients to feel toward your clinic.
*The concept of Bond-Centered Practice, which is a systematic approach to dealing with the emotional, non-medical needs of people, was developed by Colorado State University’s Argus Institute for Families and Veterinary Medicine and introduced nationally in 1994 with the publication of The Human Animal Bond and Grief.
The first half of this blog is primarily a republication of a Veterinary Wisdom Staff Resource Handout originally written by Laurel Lagoni, M.S. in 2001 and revised in 2015. Print the handout here.