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Amazon Steps Into Animal Healthcare Market

Owners can use voice commands to manage pets’ healthcare.

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Pet owners can now receive their pets’ healthcare reminders and book appointments through Amazon Alexa.

LOS ANGELES — VCA Animal Hospitals announced that pet owners can now receive their pets’ healthcare reminders and book appointments through Amazon Alexa.

VCA said in a press release that it will be “the first in the animal hospital industry to introduce voice command to manage pets’ healthcare.”

“As a leader in the pet healthcare industry, we’ve made it our mission to provide pet owners with the best possible experience through continued innovation and digital transformation,” said Brendan Lynch, VP of Digital Strategy for VCA Animal Hospitals. “For us, that means making every interaction between pet owners and our animal hospitals as convenient and easy as possible.”

According to eMarketer, smart speakers are the fastest growing consumer technology since the smartphone, and a recent study by Adobe forecasts that nearly half of U.S. households will own a smart speaker by the end of 2018.

VCA has focused on technology in recent years. Currently, VCA has more than 3,000 iPads in its animal hospitals which include proprietary mobile apps for checking in pets, two-way text messaging with pet owners, and giving medical staff on-the-go access to their patients’ medical records. VCA also launched the myVCA pet owner app earlier this year, offering services such as access to healthcare reminders and medical records.

“The ultimate goal of introducing these newer tech-forward offerings like the VCA Animal Hospitals skill is to create a more seamless customer experience when it comes to pet healthcare, and to make sure we have healthier pet patients,” said Aaron Frazier, vice president of client experience for VCA. “Whether it’s at your local VCA Animal Hospital or through Alexa, we want to be part of every pet’s healthcare journey while helping pet owners along the way.”

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The VCA deal is not Amazon’s first foray into the pet market.

In May, the company said it was launching its own pet product brand for Prime subscribers. The brand, called Wag, started with dry dog food.

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