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Host an Open House

First, make plans to decorate! Read the section called ‘Decorate Your Waiting Room/Reception Area’ below for decorating tips, then plan to host some exciting activities. Here are some ideas:Open House

  • Conduct behind the scenes clinic tours to educate clients on the services you provide.
  • Perform teddy bear ‘surgeries’ – or help children perform ‘surgery’ on the bears themselves.
  • Set up an area in your clinic for pet and owner portraits.
  • Set up a paw printing station with paper and washable paint so your clients can take their pets paw imprints home to display.
  • Hold a pet and owner look-alike contest, or a contest for the best dressed pet. Winners could be awarded Animal Health Week t-shirts or other merchandise!

Once the details of your open house are confirmed, start promoting! Send out invitations to clients via snail mail, email, social media, or place an advertisement in a local paper or distribute flyers. Contact the CVMA to help you prepare a media advisory for your event to invite local media to attend.

Give back to your community by collecting donations and/or unopened pet food for your local animal shelter.

Decorate your Waiting Room/Reception Area

For those wishing to celebrate Animal Health Week, but are short on resources or time, you can still recognize the week by decorating your clinic or hospital waiting room. With just a little effort, you can turn your waiting room into an informative and festive area! Animal Balloons

Start by posting your complimentary Animal Health Week poster. Decorate the room with Animal Health Week balloons, decide which promotional items you would like to distribute and get your creative juices flowing. 

Do your clients really know the veterinarians and animal health technicians that care for their furry, feathered, or scaled friends? If not, it might be fun to post photos and mini biographies of your veterinary team. Highlight your educational achievements, hobbies and interests, and talk a little about the animals in your lives. As your clients get to know you better, they will feel more at ease in your company and will be more willing to ask questions and take your advice to better care for their animals.

Organize a Pet Poetry Contest

Pet PoetryEncourage pet owners of all ages to put pen to paper and express their feelings about their pet through poetry. You could create different age categories and award winners with Animal Health Week merchandise. Consider posting the winning poem(s) on your clinic bulletin board, social media sites, and website.

Host an Animal Party

Arranging a get-together in your community for animal owners and their feathered, furry, or scaly friends can be a lot of fun! Securing a location for your animal party shouldn’t be too difficult. A local park is an ideal venue as long as animal owners are conscientiousAnimal Party about chaperoning and cleaning up after their pets. Contact your municipality for details.

“Party hosts” can wear Animal Health Week t-shirts to create a celebratory mood and for easy identification. Fire up the barbeque for some hot dogs, hamburgers and veggie burgers, and provide treats for the animals. Add some games (bobbing for hot dogs is quite popular for dogs!), and be sure to offer prizes for winners. Animal Health Week promotional items make great giveaways! 

Consider inviting a local celebrity to judge a best trick, longest tail, or dog singing contest. Get the community involved by asking the police department to give police dog demonstrations or have an animal obedience trainer demonstrate basic behaviour training exercises on-site. Local farmers might welcome the opportunity to set up a petting zoo or offer pony rides to children. Just remember to err on the side of safety and have fun!

Plan a Dog Wash

Dog WashGet out some buckets, pet shampoo, and a hose and turn your parking lot into a giant bathtub. Encourage your clients to bring their pets for a bath and use the opportunity to pass on tips like how to safely clean inside their pets ears. Give back to your community by collecting a small charitable donation for each dog washed. 



Arrange a School Presentation

Animal SchoolStudents and teachers love welcoming special guests into the classroom. This Animal Health Week, plan to spend some time with young children interested in animals or older students interested in veterinary medicine. Setting this plan in motion is relatively simple.

Approach a teacher or principal at a local school by writing a letter and following up with a personal phone call. Once the principal has approved your visit, start planning the details. Confirm the date, time and length of your presentation, and the number of students to whom you will be speaking and their age range. Be sure to tailor your presentation to the audience by using suitable vocabulary and interesting material for the age group. Whatever you choose to discuss, make it fun!

Arrange a Library Visit

Much like school presentations, visiting a library can be a lot of fun for you and for readers keen on learning more about animal health care and veterinary medicine. One way toAnimal Library recognize Animal Health Week in your community is to arrange a special event at a public library.

Contact the librarian to ask about setting up an “Ask the Expert” session relating to animal health care. Make sure to do your homework and be prepared to answer lots of interesting questions! 

If this doesn’t interest you, many libraries offer story time programs for younger readers and their parents. As a “local celebrity”, you might want to volunteer an hour of your time to read from a veterinary-themed book like Stephanie Maze’s "I Want to be a Veterinarian" or B.C. veterinarian, Dr. David Perrin’s "Don’t Turn Your Back In The Barn: Adventures of a Country Vet."

Animal Health Week ScrapbookAnimal ScrapBook

When planning your Animal Health Week activities, remember the “photo factor”. People love seeing photos of themselves and their pets. Why not put together an Animal Health Week scrapbook for your clinic waiting area to ensure your AHW memories live on long after the week is over? You can also create online albums on social media.