Many vet practices open their doors to puppies late at night during the week or weekends to welcome owners with their new puppy. The success of the puppy party depends on much on how well they are planned and run.
Great marketing opportunities
Puppy parties can provide your practice with some wonderful chances to introduce yourself to the new family members, and discuss with the family all the health and behavioural benefits you can offer them.
15 top tips on running your puppy party
With all the effort involved in planning and running a puppy party, you want to make sure that they are popular and beneficial. We’ve chatted with a variety of practices and key staff members, and have compiled a practical list of our top tips.
- Get them in early – ideally when they are under 14 weeks of age.
- Make sure they are protected – don’t allow any non-vaccinated puppies. You could consider early vaccination for some puppies
- Get everyone involved – encourage all the nurses and trained staff in the clinic to be involved, and take it in turns so it doesn’t all end up being the responsibility of one person. Sometimes it helps to get the vets involved as well.
- Key speakers - make sure the party speakers are outgoing, smiley characters who’ll deliver a feeling of fun and confidence. They will also need to be knowledgeable and available to answer all sorts of questions.
- Animal handling skills – check that everyone from the practice is good at puppy and people handling.
- Don’t work alone –have a minimum of 3 people running the clinic
- Don’t invite too many – a good number of puppies to invite per party is about 6. More than 8 and it starts getting too chaotic
- Run them regularly –run a party session every few weeks. If a person has to wait too long for their puppy to attend, they will either forget to come or the pup will be too old
- Help from the boss – it really helps if you have the backup and support of all the key staff in the practice. The senior partner or practice manager will give the party their full support if they see a real benefit for everyone involved.
- Invite the whole family –puppy socialising skills need to be reinforced by everyone in the family unit. Get mum, dad and all the kids along.
- Give out prizes – you’ll find that many of the pet food, insurance, dental care and toy companies will be quite generous with small free gifts to give out. Don’t be shy. Tell them what you are doing and ask for some freebies.
- Have a handout – there will be so much to talk about, many of the owners will leave forgetting half of what has been said. Back up your party with a well designed handout containing all the information in a readable format.
- Be prepared – a large easily cleaned room is essential (the waiting room is ideal). Have a mop and bucket handy together with poo bags. Have some dog toys, water bowls, treats and refreshments for the owners.
- Ask for feedback – at the end of it all, don’t forget to have a handy questionnaire to check that you are doing well and that they enjoyed the visit. In return make sure you get their email so you can follow up the party with more handy advice
- Don’t lecture - keep the presentation chatty and informative, avoiding an overly lecturing style.
Tell us your top tips
Do let us know if you have any other words of wisdom to share with our readers. Just click the link, let us know and we can post in in future newsletters.
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