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Paradigm Shifts and Pets

By Graham Garrison
December, 2018

There is a paradigm shift happening with how our culture perceives pets. The New York Times recently interviewed Dr. Craig A. Clifford, a medical oncologist and director of clinical studies at Hope Veterinary Specialists in Malvern, Pennsylvania, who had an interesting take on it. “Thirty years ago, pets lived outside, and weren’t as big a part of our families as they are now. That generation of pet has been coined ‘the Snoopy generation,’” Clifford said.

This generation? We live in the Brian generation, according to Dr. Clifford, a reference to the dog on “Family Guy,” who walks on his hind legs, martini in paw, and chats with his family. “People are eating dinner with them and having cocktails with them,” he said, with a laugh. “That’s a paradigm shift about how pets are perceived.”

It gets a little more complicated, though. The two generations who make up the largest percentage of pet ownership are the millennials (born between 1982 and 2002) and baby boomers (born between 1945 and 1964). “Here’s where the tricky part comes in,” wrote Eric Garcia for Today’s Veterinary Business. “While these two demographics are the most likely to walk through the doors of [a] veterinary practice, they can differ tremendously in both expectations and needs.”

Garcia suggests veterinary practices tailor their services and business to each pet owner they encounter. That’s practical advice that Veterinary Advantage readers can take to heart as well. Veterinary practices need tailored solutions and products to meet the needs of their client base, whether it be the rural practice for clients with limited local options, or practices competing with big box retailers in suburban locations.

To that end, we’ve compiled conversations around several selling points in this issue of Veterinary Advantage – dental care, equipment, and even new product launches the industry will see at VMX 2019.

Topics: Editor's Note

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