In December 2012, veterinary technology degree students at Minnesota School of Business-Lakeville hosted a Pet Care information event for a local Girl Scout group. Fifteen Girl Scouts visited campus, and they couldn’t wait to learn more about what kinds of animals make good pets as well as the importance of proper pet care, the cost of owning a pet, animal socialization and training, and what a veterinary technician does.
The evening started off with the girls introducing themselves and what pet(s) they have at home – everyone was more than happy to share their story and their pet knowledge! They were then invited to share their expertise on how to approach a new animal/pet by interacting with our zoo of stuffed animals in our veterinary technology department. Each Girl Scout was given an informational packet that included doggie language, correct and incorrect ways to interact with dogs, the ASPCA pet care cost outline and activities that they could bring home and share what they had learned.
Next they were invited up to the front of the class to identify and discuss the many different kinds of dog breeds. They participated in a dog breed word find, animal mazes and math! The girls were asked to figure out how much they think it costs to own a pet. Many of the answers ranged from $20 to $2000 a month! One little girl had even taken the time to list the expenses of owning her dog on paper and sharing with the group!
The exciting part was when our vet tech degree students asked the girls what they think happens when their pet goes to the doctor. Many of the girls said “shots!” However one brave girl said “they look at the poop!” Of course they were all correct, and the students proceeded to describe why it’s important to have your pet looked at and what the process is when a pet is brought in to see the doctor. They were even shown jars that contained specimens that can be found.
Another highlight of the evening was the topic of animal socialization and training. The students were impressed with how much information the girls were able to give them on training “dos” and “don’ts”. When asked, everyone in the room who had a dog had gone to training classes and learned the importance of kennel training, positive reinforcement, leash training and socialization. Only one openly admitted that she had never done any training with her dog, and that is because “he trains himself”! Everyone agreed that she must have a great dog!
The evening ended with the girls asking the students what they do in college, what kinds of classes they take and if it’s fun. The students each took turns sharing their individual experiences with the group and giving them their perspective on how important education is, and of course that it is fun.
Not only did the Girl Scouts gain valuable knowledge from the session, the veterinary technology students were able to practice their client education and clinic professionalism with community members. Both the students and Girl scouts alike were having so much fun they didn’t want the night to end. However when the time came, they said their goodbyes and then shared rice krispy bars with us.
To learn more about the veterinary technology program or other programs at the Minnesota School of Business visit our website at www.msbcollege.edu.
By Nicole Nieman, Minnesota School of Business- Lakeville, Veterinary Technology Program Chair