Monday, February 16, 2009

Did You Get Your $20 Veterinary Voucher

Help Your Pet, Get to the Vet Campaign Foots the Bill, So Pets Don't Pay the Price

Advantage(R) from Bayer Animal Health Distributes More than $250,000 Worth of Veterinary Vouchers to Get Pets Visiting Veterinarians

SHAWNEE, Kan., Feb. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Advantage(R) Topical Solution from Bayer Animal Health announced today the Help Your Pet, Get to the Vet Campaign with a mission to distribute more than $250,000 in $20 Veterinary Vouchers and offer valuable money-saving information to help offset costs and concerns for pet owners nationwide. Regular veterinary visits and preventive care are essential to maintaining a pet's health, but during these challenging economic times, many pet owners are facing difficult choices about how to pay for and prioritize their pets' care and wellness.

In fact, a recent survey of veterinarians confirmed pet owners have scaled back on veterinary visits and preventive pet care in the past six months(2) -- and nearly one-half of pet owners revealed they are now more likely to wait until there are obvious, visible issues with their pets before seeking veterinary treatment, with most noting that costs and economic concerns were the reason for the delay.(1) More than 90 percent of veterinarians expressed concern about the future health of pets if veterinary visits and preventive care decline.(2)

From February 16 through February 28, 2009, the Help Your Pet, Get to the Vet Campaign by Advantage(R) from Bayer Animal Health is lending a hand by giving up to 13,000 pet owners the chance to receive a $20 Veterinary Voucher. These veterinary clinic nationwide for preventive care services including: vaccinations, wellness exams, flea and tick treatment and prevention, heartworm preventatives and dental care. Each voucher helps offset close to 20 percent of the average cost of a veterinary visit for cats and dogs.(3)

"Cats and dogs age much faster than we do. For some breeds, they can go from adolescence to middle age in a few short years. Since their health issues can develop and progress faster, regular veterinary visits are critical for checking health status and any new health developments," said leading veterinarian and pet expert, Dr. Marty Becker. "Missed veterinary visits are missed opportunities to identify and address potentially serious health issues and complications as your pet ages. It's far easier and more economical to prevent a health problem than to treat one."

The Help Your Pet, Get to the Vet Campaign by Advantage(R) Topical Solution from Bayer Animal Health provides support to pet owners in two ways:

* At http://www.gettothevet.com from February 16 through February 28,
2009, dog and cat owners have a chance to receive a $20 Veterinary
Voucher good toward preventive veterinary care (vaccinations, wellness
exams, flea and tick treatment and prevention, heartworm preventatives,
dental care, etc.). Vouchers are available on a first-come basis from
9:00AM to 9:00PM ET every hour on the hour with up to 1,000 vouchers
distributed each day. More than 80 vouchers distributed every hour. No
purchase necessary to obtain voucher. Voucher valid until May 31, 2009.
See official rules.
* At http://www.gettothevet.com, pet owners can find money-saving tips on
pet care from leading veterinarian and pet expert, Dr. Marty Becker.


"During these challenging economic times, we want to help consumers defray the cost of preventive care for their pets," said Joerg Ohle, President and General Manager of Bayer HealthCare, LLC, Animal Health Division. "At Bayer Animal Health, everything we do is to help protect, cure and care for pets. That mission is at the core of this new campaign."

Veterinarians and Pet Owners Weigh-In

Advantage(R) Topical Solution from Bayer Animal Health issued today "The State of Preventive Veterinary Care Report," a comprehensive compilation of third-party and original research from pet owners and veterinarians, that concluded veterinarians believe pet health care is a major area for concern -- with the potential for the problem to intensify without proper preventive care.

Insights from Advantage(R) from Bayer Animal Health:

* As many as 98 percent of veterinarians believe that preventive care is
one of the best ways to forgo added medical costs and treatments in the
long run for pet owners. (2)
* More than nine out of 10 veterinarians expressed concern about the
future health of pets if veterinary visits and preventive care decline,
with almost half of them expressing deep concerns. (2)
* More than 35 percent of pet owners admit they have already cut back on
veterinary services. Other areas where they indicated they are
seriously considering scaling back are grooming and teeth cleaning.(1)
* More than 20 percent of pet owners are seriously considering scaling
back on veterinary wellness visits, despite these pet-related costs
being one of the expenses they want to sacrifice the least. (1)
* Nearly half of the pet owners surveyed pointed to the cost of clinic
visits and exams as barriers to taking their pets to the veterinarian,
and 30 percent of pet owners admitted they have not taken their pet to
the veterinarian for routine and/or preventive care in the past six
months.(1)
* Nearly 50 percent of pet owners reveal they will now wait until there
are obvious, visible problems with their pets before visiting a
veterinarian, with almost 80 percent of them pointing to
economic/financial concerns as the reason for the delay.(1)
* Within the past year, 35 percent of pet owners have cut costs on
personal and lifestyle items (clothing, beauty products, home
accessories, etc.) to afford their pet's health care.(1)


"As animal health professionals and committed industry partners, we understand the vitally important role that veterinarians and preventive care play in keeping pets healthy," added Ohle. "We want to help pet owners to continue to work with veterinarians to ensure their pets' well-being."

To learn more about the Help Your Pet, Get to the Vet Campaign by Advantage(R) Topical Solution from Bayer Animal Health and for a chance to receive a $20 Veterinary Voucher, visit http://www.gettothevet.com.

About Bayer Animal Health

Bayer HealthCare, a subsidiary of Bayer AG, is one of the world's leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry and is based in Leverkusen, Germany. The company combines global activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Diabetes Care and Pharmaceuticals divisions. The pharmaceuticals business operates under the name Bayer Schering Pharma AG. Bayer Healthcare's aim is to discover and manufacture products that will improve human and animal health worldwide. With sales of EUR 956 million (2007) the Animal Health Division is one of the world's leading manufacturers of veterinary drugs. The division manufacturers and markets approximately 100 different veterinary drugs and care products for food supplying animals and companion animals (dogs, cats, horses).

Footnotes:

(1) Online survey of pet owners. Jan-Feb. 2009.
(2) Phone survey of U.S. veterinarians. Jan-Feb. 2009.
(3) American Veterinary Medical Association, U.S. Pet Ownership &
Demographics Sourcebook, 2007 Edition, ISBN-10-1882691172, pg. 49


(C) 2009 Bayer HealthCare LLC, Animal Health Division, Shawnee Mission, Kansas, 66201

Bayer, the Bayer Cross and Advantage are registered trademarks of Bayer.

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