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The Importance of the Veterinarian Patient Client Relationship


As a pet owner, you may have heard the term VCPR. A Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship, or VCPR for short, exists when your veterinarian knows your pet well enough to be able to diagnose and treat any medical conditions your animal develops.

The VCPR is important because in many states, it is required by law for your veterinarian to diagnose your animal and in turn, prescribe or dispense medications for treatment. Beyond the legal requirements, a VCPR gives you peace of mind as a pet owner, ensuring your vet is familiar with your pet’s medical history and a written record of treatment is kept, providing for the best care possible. In addition, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AMA) requires a VCPR for a veterinarian to prescribe medication and to treat an animal.

The Importance of the Veterinarian Relationship for Your Pet


Watch the video below to learn more about the importance of the Vet - Client - Patient - Relationship.

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Frequently Asked Questions
About the VCPR

What is your role in the VCPR?

As a pet owner, by allowing your veterinarian to make clinical decisions about your pet’s care, you are responsible to ask questions to understand the care plan and second, follow the vet’s instructions. In turn, your vet’s role is to accept the responsibility of providing medical care, make care decisions, keep a written record of care; advise you, the pet owner, of treatment’s benefits and risks, oversee treatment, follow up on the care outcome and finally, helping to direct you to emergency care if needed for your pet.

How is a VCPR created?

Your veterinarian must examine your pet in person to establish a VCPR and regular veterinary visits to monitor your pet’s health are needed to maintain the VCPR. If there is a lapse in care, the VCPR is no longer valid and it would be unethical and illegal in many states, for your vet to dispense or prescribe medications or to recommend treatment.

It is important to note that the VCPR is required to be establish in person and cannot be created online, over the phone or via email. Once created in person, you may be able to maintain the relationship via telephone or other types of consultations. This type of treatment is up to the veterinarian’s discretion however, so speak to your vet to see if it is appropriate and in the best interest of your pet’s health.

How is a VCPR ended?

As the pet owner and client, you can terminate the VCPR at any time by notifying your veterinarian. For your veterinarian, if they wish to cease the VCPR, they must first notify you and continue medical care for any ongoing illnesses until you have established a relationship with another veterinarian.

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