AKC Veterinary Network Certificate Program Helps Start Puppies on Lifelong Healthcare Plan
By Penny Leigh, AKC Internal Consultant and breeder of Flat-Coated Retrievers and Bearded Collies
More than 2,000 veterinarians around the country take part in the AKC Veterinary Network.
The secret to a long life is a great start.
For puppies, that means proper nutrition, training, grooming and healthcare.
The American Kennel Club understands puppy buyers have many decisions to make and has launched a program to help new owners give their dogs the best beginning.
Newly registered puppies now receive a certificate redeemable for a first office visit to a veterinary practice in the AKC Veterinary Network. More than 2,000 veterinarians around the country take part in the network; their contact information appears on the AKC web site.
The veterinary practices receive AKC educational materials on topics of interest to new puppy owners, including training, breeding, competitive events, permanent identification and pet health insurance. AKC also updates the veterinarians on news about purebred dogs and canine health issues.
“It is a win-win program for dog owners and for our practice,” said Dr. Amy Lewis DVM of Falls Village Veterinary Hospital in Raleigh. N.C. “We gain new clients, we advertise and promote our practice, and we receive numerous brochures, pamphlets and reference materials. We are viewed on the AKC website and receive help educating the public on all aspects of responsible dog ownership.”
The AKC Veterinary Network certificates are good for the cost of an office visit (sometimes called the examination fee) and are not redeemable for vaccinations, medications, X-rays or other procedures. To receive a certificate, dog owners should include a valid e-mail address on their online or paper registration applications. AKC sends the certificates via e-mail to the primary owner within two business days to enable the owner to use the certificate for the pup’s first trip to the doctor.
“The AKC realizes that it takes a lot of time and research to select the right purebred puppy for your family, and the decisions do not stop once your puppy comes home,” said Debra Bonnefond, Director of the AKC Veterinary Outreach Program. “This program lets us make new dog owners’ lives a bit easier from the start and emphasize the importance of routine veterinary care throughout a dog’s lifetime.”
The certificates state the puppy’s registered name, registration number, breed, sex, color and markings, and microchip number (if applicable). If breeders register all the puppies in a litter, they receive a certificate for each puppy. They may choose to use the certificate or give them to their puppy buyers.
Owners may use the certificates within 60 days of the date that the puppy is registered.