Walmart Enters the Veterinary Market - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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Walmart Enters the Veterinary Market

Interesting....

https://www.businessinsider.com/walm...harmacy-2019-5
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 10:23 PM
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Huh.Like a tiny mall.Wonder if they'll add a human medical clinic someday!?

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 09:26 AM
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Bringing vet costs down is great, I already buy some types of abx for my dogs at the pharmacy at a major savings.

However, I hate it when people say millennials treat their pet like their first born child. Can't we just treat our dogs well as dogs... and not compare them to children?
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 10:54 AM
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We discussed the arrival of the "VetIQ" clinics in WM a few months ago in this low-cost vet care "sticky" thread -- they started rolling these out in Oklahoma earlier this year:
https://www.germanshepherds.com/foru...t-options.html

Thrive Clinics inside of Petco stores are similar in-store, low-cost providers that are starting to pop up in remodeled Petco stores.

This is the future of vet medicine: two tiers of service. There will be low-cost, high volume wellness clinics (often without full-service diagnostic equipment), and there will be high-cost, full-service clinics offering gold-standard nose-to-tail care. The middle is already being squeezed out (and bought out by chains like Banfield and VCA) -- and the middle will be under ever-increasing financial pressure as it loses bread-and-butter annual wellness visits to lower-cost providers.

Exam fees at the low-cost places are around $25. My vet charges $50. There's a real difference in service though.

The low-cost, no-frills, high-volume independent clinic in my city with folding chairs in the waiting room and grimy floors is the most profitable clinic in the city -- it's always packed and they see tons of walk-ins. I won't even take the rescue's dogs there because I hate that style of vet medicine, but it's SO affordable a lot of rescues go there. They have something like 20 young vets working super-fast appointments that are just a few minutes long (they're compensated based on how many clients they see, so they have incentive to move fast). They charge about half what my AAHA-accredited vet does--but my vet takes 30 min. or more with each dog with a slow, careful exam including ortho range of motion, talking with us about all that's going on including food and exercise, getting the dogs comfortable before the exam using Fear-Free techniques, etc. Time is money, so that just costs more.

There are many people who are super-busy, hate going to the vet, and just want to get in and get out with their RX for HW prevention. People like that tend to love these high-volume, quick places.

There are other people who like their dogs to be comfortable, want to separate vaccines, don't mind extra trips to the vet because it's an another opportunity to make friends with the vet staff in case of a future painful procedure, want to be able to talk about health research we've read online with a trusted healthcare partner. For those of us who view the vet clinic as an important relationship for our dogs, we tend to be happier with a slower style of practice.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saco View Post
Bringing vet costs down is great, I already buy some types of abx for my dogs at the pharmacy at a major savings.

However, I hate it when people say millennials treat their pet like their first born child. Can't we just treat our dogs well as dogs... and not compare them to children?
Yeah, that article absolutely did not need that jab.

If we (general "we") leave some of the stereotypes and buzzwords out of it, I don't think it's surprising at all that a lot of young adults spend a lot of money on their dogs. Training and mindset is a different topic entirely, but that article was (supposed to be) about money and lower cost pet care.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 11:09 AM
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Well...I knew it was coming-read about it in a thread here a while back....considering just how many threads right here where the OP is advised---to see another Vet and get a second opinion...adding Walmart to the mix should make for some "interesting" reading on the forums.....I've always liked developing a close one on one relationship with my Vet he knows me and what I expect....I know him really well AND trust him......can't see that happening at Wally World........



Wonder what's next "drive thru" Veterinary care ??----Maybe a restaurant where you can eat dinner in the front and have your dog examined--minor surgery in the back ??---I'd say how about a grocery store where you can get your dog checked over while you shop....but with Walmart it's already here....many folks may call this progress...but not me.....
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Shane'sDad View Post
Well...I knew it was coming-read about it in a thread here a while back....considering just how many threads right here where the OP is advised---to see another Vet and get a second opinion...adding Walmart to the mix should make for some "interesting" reading on the forums.....I've always liked developing a close one on one relationship with my Vet he knows me and what I expect....I know him really well AND trust him......can't see that happening at Wally World........


Wonder what's next "drive thru" Veterinary care ??----Maybe a restaurant where you can eat dinner in the front and have your dog examined--minor surgery in the back ??---I'd say how about a grocery store where you can get your dog checked over while you shop....but with Walmart it's already here....many folks may call this progress...but not me.....
I'm undecided, overall. Though of course my opinion won't stop the freight train of mega box stores.

If a $25. exam fee is affordable for a person who is hesitant to (or flat out cannot) spend $50.+ on an exam, dogs that might otherwise not be seen, will be seen.

My local (AAHA) family vet practice has recently started offering drop-off appointments for long standing clients. I think it's one of their attempts to try and retain good customers who are short on time or juggling priorities. I almost always have questions, I like getting long-winded nerdy explanations and I like talking about my animals, so it's not a service I utilize.... but I can imagine the value it provides for others.

A lot of our lives revolve around our dogs..... but for a big chunk of the population, the family dog is an enjoyable buddy on the periphery of the household bubble. Fifteen minute instant oil change for the car, $25 Walmart checkup for the dog, and on to the next thing.

Playing Devil's advocate, here.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 12:11 PM
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I've been to all three tiers of service. For my healthy dogs, I bring them to Tractor Supply walk in clinic for rabies vaccines. But I still go to my local vet, for anything beyond that. For highly skilled, very expensive procedures that my local vet can not handle, I go to the specialty clinic.

I get HW and tick preventatives from an online pharmacy.

The reason I go to the TSC walk-ins for rabies, is wholly the cost savings. For the same reason I'd get a flu shot at CVS rather than making a whole doctors appt (our human insurance has a very high deductible).

It's a tough call, but I do like to see basic care like HW and tick meds and even spay/neuter made affordable to most dog owners, for the good of the dog population in this country, overall. Ideally, everyone would have and be willing to spend the money for a vet visit for these things, but if the alternative is cheap clinic or no clinic, it's a tough call and I'd have to support affordable care.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 12:12 PM
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Staffing these with doctors will be the challenge. Volume will have to be high in order to pay adequate salaries. Every decent sized practice I know of is hiring. Most grads are women who are opting for reduced hours. If these Walmart practices have child friendly hours it may work. Otherwise I think we will continue to see many young doctors dropping out of the profession. Salaries need to keep up with the cost of childcare or working does not make sense. I worked emergency when mine were young but not many want the stress involved.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rotdocpa1 View Post
Staffing these with doctors will be the challenge. Volume will have to be high in order to pay adequate salaries. Every decent sized practice I know of is hiring. Most grads are women who are opting for reduced hours. If these Walmart practices have child friendly hours it may work. Otherwise I think we will continue to see many young doctors dropping out of the profession. Salaries need to keep up with the cost of childcare or working does not make sense. I worked emergency when mine were young but not many want the stress involved.
I've been wondering about that angle.

If there are flexible hours, plus guaranteed access to Walmart's corporate benefits, that could be a seriously attractive to some. 401(k) w/match, health insurance even for part-timers, 10% off of all Walmart purchases (that would add up quick), paid maternity leave, and the list goes on.... Could be attractive, and perhaps require less emotional investment than joining a private/family practice, and less stress than emergency.
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