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Love Your Dog - Dr Claire Steven's new book for dog owners

Posted in Our Community @ Jun 18th 2020 - By Dr Claire Stevens, Author of Love Your Dog
Awesome New Resource To Share With Your Clients Dr Claires Love Your Dog

A fantastic new book to recommend to veterinary clients looking for a great resource on dog ownership

We asked the author of Love Your Dog, Dr Claire Stevens about her new book, how she hopes it will help dog owners and how it can help you too. 

1. What led you to writing a book?

Funnily enough, it was difficult consults! 

Our role as a veterinary professional is to educate clients to ensure that their pets live long healthy and happy lives. But that’s much easier said than done! 

As vets we might spend a consultation re-educating an emotional and very misinformed owner who’s a mess after a late night of googling. Our next consult might be a client with a boisterous Dogue De Bordeaux, and as their dog throws us across the room with great gusto, we politely continue to explain the pathophysiology of atopic dermatitis. Or maybe we are crouched over the wriggly old pug as we attempt to demonstrate how to administer ear drops, while the owner sits distracted as she breastfeeds.

I think most vets and vet nurses would agree, that consulting effectively is an art. Even the best consulting vets will admit that there are constant breaks in communication in the consult room, and less than ideal situations for a clear discussion. As a consequence of this, information is lost and in other instances, we simply run out of time in busy practices. And sadly, I think too often client’s leave the practice only getting half the story.   

Because of such experiences, early on in my career I got into the habit of printing out articles, how-to-instructions or informative pharmaceutical flyers for my clients to take home with them. It was clear to me that my clients weren’t always able to digest what I was saying and in other times I wasn’t always able to deliver what I needed to. So I created other ways to support them once they returned home.

Of course, after years of doing this, I thought to myself, I wish there was reliable book written by a veterinarian on canine health that would be easy for clients to read and I could refer them to it for the life of their pet. Alas, I couldn’t find what I was looking for and that’s how Dr Claire’s Love Your Dog was born.  

2. How long did it take to write?

It was about 2 years from when I started putting pen to paper to seeing it on the bookshelf in Dymocks on Queen St in Brisbane. It was a long process and I worked on it every day during that time. But I must say, seeing it on the shelves of bookstores, makes all that hard work absolutely worth it. 

3. How did you go about finding a publisher?

The co-author Libby Harkness, an already established writer was able to take the reins when it came to finding a publisher. I had tried to write this book for about six months before deciding to ask for Libby’s input. It became quickly apparent that while I was knowledgeable in the subject matter and certainly very motivated, I had my shortcomings when it came to writing a book! My writing didn’t always flow well, it didn’t tell my story from start to finish and there were parts where my ideas were too academic for the purposes of a book for the general public. Libby was wonderful in helping me overcome these challenges, and as well as that, she connected me with the right people when it came to finding a publisher. Together we became a force to be reckoned with! 

4. Have you always wanted to write a book or was this a recent goal?

I had always wanted to write a book, however it took me a long time to decide on what topic. But after brainstorming various ideas, I couldn’t go past the practical nature of this book. I could envisage it as such a useful resource for dog owners and that’s what encouraged me on through the ups and downs of writing it.

5. Who are your target readers?

My target readers are dog lovers who set out to be excellent pet parents. 

The book seems to be most popular with puppy owners, it sells like hotcakes at puppy preschool evenings. And of course, it’s also very popular with devoted dog lovers. Think of your gold standard clients, those that go the extra mile to become educated about canine health, those are the ones who really love this book. 

6. It’s such a large topic - how did you decide what content was to be included?

Whenever I thought I might be rambling or going off track a bit, I’d do two things. Firstly, I’d think to myself, do dog owners ask me questions about this topic in practice? And secondly, I’d reach out to my (dog owner) friends, do you think this is important? Is this interesting to you? Because as a vet, sometimes I would assume they’d consider something was really important, when in fact they didn’t and other areas that they were curious about, I had missed. That turned out to be a good strategy to better understand what would appeal most to my audience. 

7. What are you hoping to achieve with your book?

A National Best Seller would be nice! 

But in all honesty, an even more significant goal would be to have every vet practice around Australia stock Dr Claire’s Love Your Dog. I believe that by practices having this resource, it will not only serve as a thorough and reliable tool to educate clients, but also as a way to bond them to their veterinary practice. 

My publishers are helping me make this dream a reality by offering vet practices 40% off RRP, as well as free freight for 5 copies or more. If practices are interested in stocking my book, they can do so by emailing info@woodslane.com.au

8. Are you planning on writing more?

Yes, I have a sneaking suspicion I’ll write another book in the future. Despite promising myself and my family that I would NEVER do it again. 

I have this personality trait and I haven’t figured out if it’s my friend or foe, but it seems no matter what I do, I’m never satisfied.

9. Where can we get your book?

Its available at book stores across Australia (including Dymocks and QBD) or online at a range of stores such as Booktopia, Fishpond, Ebay and Book Depository.  

10. Although the book is aimed at dog owners, do you also suggest vets and nurses read it?

When I wrote the book, I didn’t really think veterinary professional would be my market. But it turns out it has been very popular within our industry. A couple of new graduates have told me it’s the world’s most readable ‘textbook’ and they wish they had it in their early years of vet school. Other, more experienced vets have told me they love using it as a consulting tool for their clients and also to educate them while they wait in their waiting rooms. And nurses and reception staff have told me they finally understand so many more canine diseases and treatment options because I explained them thoroughly in my book. So, to my surprise, yes, I do! It’s clearly of more interest to my fellow workers than I ever expected. 

Sneak peek...

Here are a couple of pages to give you a sneak peek of the content from Dr Claire's Love Your Dog book...

Dr Claire's Love Your Dog - Sneak Peek Pages 142 - 143

Dr Claire's Love Your Dog - Sneak Peek Pages 200-201

About Claire

Dr Claire Stevens is the Founding Director of Global Vet Solutions, a training and CPD business, designed for practices looking to stand out, scale up and lead with compassion and purpose.

She has eleven years experience as a practicing veterinarian, has partnered in three veterinary practices and is passionate about leadership, life balance strategies and team culture.

She is the author of “Dr Claire’s Love Your Dog” the complete veterinary guide for caring for your canine friend. Her book is available in bookstores and veterinary clinics across Australia. 

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