The Importance of the Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR)

by DFS-Pet-Blog on October 1, 2014

Dr. Race Foster and Dr. Marty SmithSometimes people post questions about their animals here on our blog (as well as our other social media connections) and feel frustrated when, instead of giving them detailed medical recommendations for their animal, we recommend they talk to their own veterinarian. Several people have asked us why we do this, so we thought we’d explain in case you were wondering.

One of the goals of Doctors Foster and Smith has always been to provide accurate healthcare information to pet owners. That is why we include so many articles and other helpful information on our website and in our catalog. We feel so strongly about this, we started a separate website at, devoted just to animal healthcare information. Many of the articles on both of our websites are written by our veterinarians, but you’ll notice that even though we provide a lot of detailed information, we don’t give drug dosages or tell you how to diagnose your pet. The reason for this is that every pet is an individual, just like each person is, and good medical treatment is never one-size-fits-all. Without having examined your pet in person and looked at his or her full health history, our veterinarians don’t have all the information essential to making a proper diagnosis and the best treatment recommendations. This is the basis behind what is called the Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR). This relationship is so important that a VCPR is required by law in most states in order for a veterinarian to diagnose or treat your animal, or to prescribe or dispense medications.

Here’s more, from the website of the American Veterinary Medical Association(AVMA):
“Figuring out what’s wrong with an animal is like solving a very complex puzzle – your veterinarian has to figure out how to fit all of the clues (pieces of the puzzle) together to solve it. Veterinarians have, on average, 8 or more years of college and in-depth veterinary school training to prepare them for this task. Their training makes it possible for them to thoroughly evaluate, diagnose and treat your animal’s problem. Doing these things effectively involves thorough knowledge of your animal’s body systems and how they function, as well as a familiarity with how medications and other treatments work and if any treatments interfere with others. Hands-on physical examination is incredibly valuable to your pet and can’t be replaced by a phone conversation, web-based conversation, or email description.”
To read all their FAQs you can visit here.

Here at Doctors Foster and Smith, we value the health of all animals. We love to provide general husbandry, behavior and wellness information to help pet owners give their pets the happiest, healthiest life possible. But our help is never meant to replace regular visits to your veterinarian, and that’s why, if you ask us for specific medical advice about your pet, our recommendation will always be to consult your animal’s own veterinarian.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jian Hao December 7, 2014 at 11:34 pm

It’s true that just by reading some articles online and determine our pets health conditions might be dangerous leave alone prescribing medications.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: