Pet Wellness Month: What Does Wellness Mean to You and Your Pet?

Celebrating Pet Wellness Month

We asked our Executive Director, Dr. Keri Riddick, what pet wellness means to her:

This month is the ideal month to share the importance of pet wellness with our clients. Pet wellness encompasses not only annual care through immunizations and preventatives, but their wellness in activity, enrichment and welfare. Helping clients improve their pet’s overall wellness through planning engaging activities for the youngsters to learning about compassionate care for the senior pets brings joy and satisfaction to me in the exam room.

– Dr. Keri Riddick, GVMA Executive Director

The Importance of Preventative Care

Annual care can help catch bigger problems before they become both an emotional and financial burden. Preventative care costs a fraction of what managing and treating diseases can add up to. Early diagnosis can also help contribute to more successful outcomes. Are you communicating the importance of preventative medicine to your clients? Check out both veterinarian and client resources available on this AVMA page.


We hear all the time that puppies and kittens need enrichment, but what about cows and horses? There are tons of enrichment options for your pets, from dogs to goats to rabbits! For example, lick mats and puzzle toys for your dogs and cats can entertain and provide mental stimulation for hours. Did you know you can purchase jungle gyms online for your goats to play on? Rabbits really enjoy foraging so anything you can give them that allows them to work and hunt for their food or treats will really replicate their natural environment. Educating your clients on the different kinds of enrichment available for their pets can contribute to overall healthier and happier pets!

Educating clients: pets that fit the environment

With so many popular dog breeds emerging, it is important to educate clients on matching their pets to their lifestyle and environment. All too often we see breeds living in environments where they cannot find sources of enrichment or expend their instinctual energy levels. Pet wellness goes beyond annual care and vaccines, and should take into account the environment and lifestyle that best fits the specific needs of your pet. For example, herding breeds such as Border Collie, Australian Shepherds, Australian Cattle Dogs, etc require many hours of rigorous activity and mental stimulation. As those of us in the industry know, often times these breeds are stuck in apartments and become destructive or reactive. Educating owners on breed-specific needs can be a great way to strengthen your relationship with clients.