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Huh.Like a tiny mall.Wonder if they'll add a human medical clinic someday!?
 

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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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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/forum/basic-care/747759-heartworm-parasite-prevention-low-cost-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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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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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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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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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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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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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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I think these quick no-frills vet clinics are probably the pet evolution of what's happening with CVS Minute Clinics and similar places for humans that are staffed by nurse practitioners who do a limited range of basic things.

We will likely see tele-vet-medicine apps popping up too if state vet boards allow it, as that's now already happening for human medicine: apps that let you video-chat with a random board-certified, on-call doctor to get a diagnosis and RX sent to your preferred pharmacy, without going in person into a clinic...I just got notice that my insurance now has added one of these tele-medicine apps as a "feature" and will cover the tele-consultations as "in network" now -- and while I wouldn't want it as a replacement for regular in-person visits, I *can* imagine using it while traveling if I got sick....maybe.

All this stuff is supposed to increase access. I'm not at all convinced that there's not a loss of quality with the loss of long-term relationships with a care provider, but with many people who really love their pets struggling to provide for basic care, access has to be prioritized IMHO. It means more pets get seen, get HW tested, and kept up to date on cheap prevention, and fewer pets die of preventable diseases.

FYI, the clinics aren't Walmart corporate enterprises. They're a separate corporate entity called VetIQ that seems to be partnering/renting space in stores. VetIQ is owned by PetIQ (publicly traded: PETQ), which also makes a bunch of RX and OTC generic/private label stuff (like Advecta, the generic for Bayer's K9 Advantix -- and the VetWorks pill pockets sold at Costco).

It looks like they're staffed with contract vets:
https://vetiqpetcare.com/join-our-team/
I would be that it's going to be a high-turnover gig that employs newly minted vets who are cheap to hire, with cookie-cutter-style corporate-mandated practice techniques (identical vaccine recs, little personalization, etc.). Standardization keeps things cheap (but it's not all that conducive to developing the subtle intuition that makes great vets so extraordinary).
 

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Interesting.... I kinda wish I had access to a handful of veterinary students to ask if there's a real level of attraction to a branch of the profession that requires less emotional investment.

Clock in, vax a lot of puppies, run the same HW test, dispense basic meds, shake a lot of hands, refer the difficult stuff elsewhere, clock out, go home totally mentally checked out.

Unlike all of the emotion, troubleshooting, and after-hours support that our favorite doctors pour into our dogs.... and us.
 

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The article states millennial dog owners... spend up to $1,285 a year on their furry friends/? I certainly am no millennial, I'm a baby boomer, and I spend that much in one month on my animals (3 GSDs, 3 Cats, 2 Horses & 3 Chickens)! A little over a hundred dollars a month is peanuts!!!
 

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I wouldn't be surprised if those Walmarts also expanded their pet department section if it already hasn't done so with the clinics that are already in place.

I think that corporate saw and had the ability to provide just another convenience to their targeted consumers and like their super stores are the first to capitalize on it. It was a very strange feeling to walk into a department store and walk down a fruit and veg isle when that first came about and then how quickly the others followed, i.e. Target to a lesser extent.

I hope those clinics do not offer in store access as I see it as just enabling owners to assume their pets are allowed in the main store.
 

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Interesting.... I kinda wish I had access to a handful of veterinary students to ask if there's a real level of attraction to a branch of the profession that requires less emotional investment.

Clock in, vax a lot of puppies, run the same HW test, dispense basic meds, shake a lot of hands, refer the difficult stuff elsewhere, clock out, go home totally mentally checked out.

Unlike all of the emotion, troubleshooting, and after-hours support that our favorite doctors pour into our dogs.... and us.
Ask and ye shall receive. One of my friends is in vet school right now. I asked her and her friends to chime in.

"So one of my friends here really wants to work for banfield which is a vet clinic associated with either pet co or pet smart because of that reason. He doesn’t want to have to deal with emergencies or anything else like that and would more prefer to work with a set schedule.

It’s all about the balance of personal and work life that is so appealing. Some of us however are not as into the basic type stuff, that is very important, don't get me wrong, but we crave that adrenaline rush you get when decisions need to be made quickly and treatments started now. Also, having the ability to see more than one or even ten species is what drives some students to not only go mixed animal but to own their own vet practice."
 

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If you are on a budget, or support less income folks the mobile clinics are paramount. Better than nothing right? I love seeing affordable options, people might say otherwise but there are great homes out there with people that otherwise can’t afford “proper” vet care that love their pets to death.
 

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Ask and ye shall receive. One of my friends is in vet school right now. I asked her and her friends to chime in.

"So one of my friends here really wants to work for banfield which is a vet clinic associated with either pet co or pet smart because of that reason. He doesn’t want to have to deal with emergencies or anything else like that and would more prefer to work with a set schedule.

It’s all about the balance of personal and work life that is so appealing. Some of us however are not as into the basic type stuff, that is very important, don't get me wrong, but we crave that adrenaline rush you get when decisions need to be made quickly and treatments started now. Also, having the ability to see more than one or even ten species is what drives some students to not only go mixed animal but to own their own vet practice."
Perfect timing. And that is right in line with my suspicions.... thanks for sharing. :)
 
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