Las Vegas, Nevada – Over the past few years, the incidence of infectious disease outbreaks in dogs in the United States has increased, and one of the best ways to combat this growing risk is through education and proactive healthcare for dogs. On March 5, 2018, at the 90th annual Western Veterinary Conference, Clorox Healthcare and Merck Animal Health (known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada) in coordination with the International Boarding and Pet Services Association, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, Pet Sitters, International, VETgirl, and Barkleigh Productions, announced the launch of the Heroes for Healthy Pets™ Infectious Disease Management Certification Program to educate veterinary and pet professionals on the risks of infectious diseases. The program provides best practices for preventative care, including strategic vaccination and cleaning and disinfection protocols to help maintain disease-free facilities and keep pets healthy.
“The Heroes for Healthy Pets™ certification program provides essential support to the veterinary and pet professional community to help keep pets healthy,” said Michael Cavanaugh, DVM, DABVP (Emeritus), chief executive officer of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). “The program is complementary on VetFolio and provides professionals an excellent opportunity to better understand infectious diseases and preventative care.”
The Heroes for Healthy Pets™ Infectious Disease Management Certification Program consists of two free educational modules taught by three renowned veterinary experts in infectious disease: Understanding Infectious Diseases led by Dr. Jason Stull and Dr. Michelle Evason, and Effective Infectious Disease Control led by Dr. Melissa Bourgeois.
“Dogs that are social or visit pet facilities, such as doggie daycares and boarding kennels, are at higher risk for infectious diseases, such as canine influenza,” says Dr. Ernie Ward, America’s Pet Advocate and supporter of the Heroes for Healthy Pets™ program. “Fortunately, through better understanding of infectious diseases and preventative care, including effective vaccination and cleaning and disinfecting protocols, we can help keep pets healthy when they enjoy travel and play.”
The Heroes for Healthy Pets™ certification is free and open to all veterinary and pet professionals. To become certified, participants must complete both educational modules and pass the certification exam. The certification provides two hours of Registry of Approved Continuing Education (RACE) approved continuing education credits for veterinary professionals. Individual pet professionals and veterinary and pet care facilities can also apply for certification.
In addition to the certification, the Heroes for Healthy Pets™ program also supplies veterinary and pet businesses with the following resources:
Heroes for Healthy Pets™ Podcasts, a collection of educational podcasts on infectious diseases hosted by Dr. Courtney Campbell
Heroes for Healthy Pets™ Infectious Disease Handbook, a resource for all pet professionals written by experts in infectious disease, including information on viral and bacterial pathogens and best practices for infection prevention
Heroes for Healthy Pets™ promotional materials to help pet businesses promote their “Hero status,” including a virtual marketing toolkit consisting of template e-Blasts, social media content, signature badges, and website banners, as well as educational tools for pet owners.
“Merck Animal Health is very excited to partner up with Clorox Healthcare and these other great organizations for this program,” says Dr. Madeleine Stahl, Associate Director, Scientific Marketing Affairs. “The Heroes for Healthy Pets™ certification program was created to help veterinary professionals and pet businesses create facilities dedicated to being disease-free.”
For Clorox Healthcare, the collaborative program was a natural fit. “Vaccination, hand hygiene and cleaning and disinfecting all play a vital role in preventing infectious diseases,” said Sarah Bell-West, PhD, Scientist, Clorox Healthcare. “These practices serve as the foundation of efforts to help keep pets happy and healthy and the Heroes for Healthy Pets™ program will help empower more veterinary and pet care professionals with the education and resources they need to keep their facilities clean, healthy and infection-free.”
To learn more about the Heroes for Healthy Pets™ Infectious Disease Management Certification Program or register for certification, visit heroes4healthypets.com.