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Easy Access

By: Graham Garrison
February, 2019

Telehealth will help increase access to care and meet the demands of today’s convenience-minded pet owners 

The client journey is undergoing an evolution of sorts. Traditionally, when pet owners had questions about pet care, they would almost as a knee-jerk reaction go to the veterinarian at his or her brick-and-mortar clinic, says Chad Dodd, DVM, president and CEO of Animatas Consulting LLC.

Now with access to near limitless information, clients are spinning it back on their terms. Most pet owners will do some form of research – on the issue, or the clinic they want to visit – before they even walk through the doors. They’ll still use the veterinarian for particular kinds of services and input, but they will also go to other places in the digital space, such as an affiliation with a breeder group or adoption group on a social network.

Categories: Companion 2019 February Vol. 11 Issue 1, Cover Story

Cancer Care for Pets

By: Graham Garrison
December, 2018
A wave of technological advancements in fighting cancer – as well as a new understanding for care – has given pet owners new hope 

When it comes to cancer diagnoses for pets, the conversations between veterinarian and pet owners have changed in recent years. And that’s a good thing, says Dr. Barbara Biller, DVM, Ph.D., Diplomate ACVIM (Oncology).

“I see very few pet owners these days that say ‘My regular veterinarian said there was nothing we can do and we should just put our animal to sleep,’” says Biller, an associate professor of medical oncology at the Flint Animal Cancer Center, Colorado State University. “That was a statement I heard way more often in the first 10 years of my career rather than in the past 10 years – thankfully.”

Categories: Cover Story, Cancer Care

The Road to Wellness

By: Graham Garrison
November, 2018
Wellness plans are a hit with pet owners. So why are some veterinary clinics reluctant to offer them?

The interest was evident. Earlier this decade when Brakke Senior Consultant John Volk helped facilitate focus groups of pet owners for what would become the Bayer Veterinary Care Usage Study, he would witness the same dynamic if one of those pet owners happened to be a Banfield Clinic client.

“If there was a Banfield client in the focus group, and we’d talk about veterinarians and care and so forth, the Banfield client would almost always talk about their Optimal Wellness Plan and how they can pay for their veterinary expenses in monthly installments.”

Categories: Cover Story, wellness plans

On High Alert

By: Graham Garrison
August, 2018
As vector-borne disease cases increase throughout the country, both animal and human health organizations are working hard to raise awareness

An invasion is happening in the United States. Creepy crawlies carrying all sorts of vector-borne diseases are on the march, or airborne. And neither pets, nor people, are safe.

Illnesses from mosquito, tick and flea bites have tripled in the U.S., with more than 640,000 cases reported during the 13 years from 2004 through 2016, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nine new germs spread by mosquitoes and ticks were discovered or introduced into the United States during this time.

Categories: Cover Story, Flea & Tick, Flea/Tick/Pest, Disease

The Veterinary Nurse Initiative

By: Graham Garrison
June, 2018
A movement is underway to unite the profession under a single title, credentialing requirements and scope of practice for a key position at veterinary clinics

A title or designation is meant to bring clarity. Something to highlight a degree or credential earned. Something to help define and communicate a role within a profession, and within organizations.

However, clarity has been lacking for many years in the role of the veterinary technician, not to mention the title itself. For starters, the title “veterinary technician” can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different veterinary clinics in a lot of different states. Educational requirements vary. Responsibilities vary. Even the titles given to the professionals themselves vary.

Categories: Cover Story, Veterinary Nurse, veterinary technicians

Market Forces News

By: Graham Garrison
April, 2018

In the News: Pet food

Mass market sales of pet food grew faster than specialty sales in 2017
According to Petfood Industry, mass market sales of pet food in the United States have reversed a decades long trend and likely grew faster than pet food specialty retail sales in 2017, said Jared Koerten, senior food analyst at Euromonitor International, during his presentation at the International Processing and Production Expo. Meanwhile, the distinction between pet food specialty and mass market retailers has begun to disintegrate. “We’re expecting mass to actually out-grow specialty once the 2017 numbers are done coming in,” he said. In 2017, mass market retail sales of pet food accounted for 54 percent of the total in terms of dollar value. Those sales occurred in brick-and-mortar stores such as Wal-Mart, Target and Kroger. Specialty pet retailers sold 34 percent of the dollar value total through PetSmart, veterinary clinics, mom-and-pop stores and similar places.

Categories: Cover Story, News

Industry Insight & State of the Profession Seminar at VMX

By: Graham Garrison
April, 2018

NAVC and Today’s Veterinary Businessand Vetalytix brought together the leading experts in the fields of veterinary economics, animal health market intelligence and pet owner and consumer insights to present the most significant market and consumer trends impacting the companion animal veterinary practice. The seminar topics included:

Categories: Cover Story

Blurring of Channels

By: Graham Garrison
April, 2018

In-clinic services target pet owners who may not regularly seek veterinary care 

Duane Thurman, Vice President of FountainAgricounsel, LLC, says there are several reasons for partnerships forming between retailers and veterinary medicine providers.

“The first one is to boost store foot traffic and to broaden store offerings with one-stop shopping for pet owners for products and services for pet foods, treats, health and wellness products, toys and supplies, grooming, dog training, and now full service veterinary care.”

Categories: Cover Story

Be Where the Buyer Is

By: Graham Garrison
April, 2018

Stacey Beddoe, DVM, Southwest Animal Hospital in Jefferson City, Missouri, sees two types of buyers when it comes to pet products, medications and services.

Some are still driven to “streamline shopping,” she says. “Some clients gravitate toward being able to accomplish buying what they need in one place. They want to drop their pet off and come back to a pet who is groomed, bathed, up to date on vaccinations, teeth cleaned, and see the wart that has been bothering them on the shoulder has been removed. That may sound extreme, but we are a Walmart society and clients seek veterinary hospitals that are as inclusive by means of services as much as possible.”

Categories: Cover Story

Piece of the Pie

By: Graham Garrison
April, 2018

Online retailers are gobbling up more pet food sales than ever. What does this mean for the industry, and your veterinary practice customers? 

There’s no way around it – online retailers are changing the global marketplace. That includes the pet products channel, where heavyweights like Amazon, Pet Meds and Chewy are rolling out more customer-friendly shopping options and product choices.

Nowhere is this more evident than in pet food sales, the largest spending category of pet product sales.

Categories: Cover Story

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