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Pet Contest Ideas: 5 Cool Ways to Heat Up Your Vet Practice This Summer

Two ladies with a dog taking a pictureWith summer just a heartbeat away, you may be looking for ways to rev up your veterinary practice’s revenue and amp up your social (media) status. The traditional summer slump experienced within the industry offers you the opportunity to explore the social media scene and build your online brand.

The summer months offer great opportunities to interact with clients in a fun and meaningful way, ultimately positioning your business to be front-of-mind when spending picks up as the weather cools off. While there are a lot of great approaches to summertime social marketing out there, the tried and true social media contest has long proven to be a winner – both in terms of engagement and client retention.

Wondering where to start? We’ve got you covered with these 5 pet contest ideas.

Photo Contests

  • Pet Prom – Have a mini-prom for pets! Ask pet owners submit their pets’ prom-themed pictures through the contest platform and the pics with the most votes will be crowned the king and queen of pet prom! People can come into the hospital and take pictures at a photobooth you set up in-house, or dress up their pets at home to enter the contest. Post pictures of the newly crowned king and queen and follow up with pics of the winners receiving their prize – a free week of boarding / daycare, a gift card for services, a free grooming or whatever seems fitting for your practice.
  • Patriotic Pooch – Does your veterinary practice care for the most patriotic pooch in the land? Consider running a star-spangled photo contest where the most patriotic pooch wins! This is a great contest leading up to the 4th of July. The winning prize can be a care package for grooming, nail trims, dental exams, or 3-6 months of parasite preventatives, along with a few pet toys. You can even offer something fun to the for the pet parents – maybe a grill giveaway?
  • Dog Days of Summer – Have any pet pictures of pets at the beach? In sunglasses? Hanging out at the pool or just playing in the sprinklers? This is a great photo contest for people who do summer activities with their pets. Again, the photo with the most likes wins and the prizes are only limited by your imagination.

Any of the above ideas can be done via Facebook or Instagram and you can run the contest exclusively on one platform or on both. Be sure to come up with a hashtag for your contest involving your hospital’s name and the contest ex. #ABCVetDogDaysOfSummer, too!

Other Fun Pet Contest Ideas

Summer Sweepstakes – This one is pretty simple: the only thing a contestant needs to do is enter; no photos involved. Just ask for the entrant’s name, email, and something cute about their pet, like how they got their name, a funny story, or how they show their love you. Once the cutoff date has come, simply draw a name and award the prize. Prizes could include service credits (as mentioned above), or something extra cool, like a sweet camera, a tablet, or a gift card to your local moviehouse for a night on the town.

Caption Contest: Post a picture of a dog lounging in a pool floaty and ask people to submit a caption. Whoever has the best caption (chosen by the staff), or has the most likes, gets to be immortalized in a meme made from the image and caption. Post the meme as the big reveal, and follow up with the winner picking up a gift card to a local coffeeshop or boutique!

Other Year-round Ideas

The fun doesn’t have to end with summer. There are plenty of seasonal opportunities to run a contest or two (or three). You know what will work best for your practice’s location and demographic, but we’ve seen some success with these ideas:

  • Bluebonnet Pets – Something fun for Texans
  • Cherry Blossom Pets – Great for Georgia and D.C.
  • Mardi Gras Pets-  Beaded pets in New Orleans and beyond
  • Fiesta Pets – Great for San Antonio and the surrounding communities
  • Día de los Muertos Pets – An edgy take on the costume contest come Halloween
  • Spirit Week – Homecoming for pets (because cats dressed as cheerleaders are always awesome)
  • Instagram Photo Contests – Perhaps the most artistic pet photo wins?
  • Hipster Pets – Great for Brooklyn, Portland, Boise, Austin, etc.
  • Kentucky Derby Hats – Pets dressed in crazy and luxurious hats
  • Cinco De Mayo Pets – Maybe the winner receives a piñata full of pet treats?!

We hope that these pet contest ideas will inspire you to have a little summer fun with your online community this summer. And please, let us know if you come up with a winning idea of your own! We love to celebrate online marketing success.

Have questions about this veterinary industry marketing topic? Want tips on what else to look out for or how to improve your business' marketing? Come ask questions, share solutions, and join the conversation on VetMarketingTalk, a new online community designed for the veterinary industry and powered by the marketing experts at Beyond Indigo Pets. Click here to sign up today—FREE for the first 30 days, no credit card required.