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Veterinary Clinics and Retail Stores Unite to Combat E-Commerce Competition, Report Explains

Packaged Facts outlines the trend in a new publication.

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(PRESS RELEASE) ROCKVILLE, MD — Veterinary clinics continue to expand in retail stores nationwide, and market research firm Packaged Facts offers detail on the trend in a new report.

“Today’s pet industry is an ‘omnimarket’ where pet industry players aren’t simply competing across brick-and-mortar channels and the Internet,” says David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts.

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Podcast: Wellness Junkie “Coach Caitie” Teaches You to Care for Yourself as Well as You Care for Your Pets

Omnimarket describes a new era of multiple-front competition that simultaneously crosses former business operations borders between medical versus non-medical, products versus services, food versus non-food products and pet owner demographics. This notably includes veterinary expansion into retail stores.

The trend is described in a report called “Veterinary Services in the U.S.: Competing for the Pet Care Customer, 2nd Edition.”

The new era of multiple-front competition has been fueled by booming e-commerce in pet products, but just as importantly is being shaped by the competitive reactions of traditional pet product manufacturers and retailers. Pet superstores are responding to — and mass-market big boxes are exploiting — the internet’s erosion of the brick-and-mortar distinction between pet specialty and mass market by in turn collapsing the distinction between retail store and vet clinic/pet care salon. That’s specifically because hands-on pet care is the Achilles’ heel of the internet as a pet care provider and pet industry competitor.

Packaged Facts expects that hands-on pet care will remain the calling card of the veterinary sector, but that it will be selectively and progressively expanded in scope and supplemented by internet and digital technologies and communications, notes Sprinkle.

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Among recent examples of the pet industry’s omnimarket shift:

  • Petco has added Thrive (in-store) and PetCoach (freestanding) clinics. It’s a strategy that echoes PetSmart’s longstanding affiliation with Banfield Pet Hospitals.
  • PetIQ is partnering with Walmart to open vet clinics in as many as 1,000 stores by the end of 2023, and subsequently is partnering with Meijer.
  • Tractor Supply Co. offers pop-up veterinary clinics at its locations.

Not only do these in-store clinics offer consumers increased access to veterinary care and pet medications, their presence promotes the overall concept of pet wellness, reminding pet owners of the importance of caring for their pets’ health and making it more convenient to do so. Even so, such expansion presents challenges to the business success of many traditional, independent vets and to the autonomy of the veterinarian profession by shifting the balance of power in favor of larger consumer market players and forces.

Since launching in 2017, PETS+ has won 16 major international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact PETS+'s editors at editor@petsplusmag.com.

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Dog and Goat Compete to Be Town’s Pet Mayor

The election is set for March 3.

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A dog and a goat are battling for the role of honorary mayor of Fair Haven, VT.

Lincoln the Nubian goat won the title last year, The Associated Press reports. The election was a way to get children involved in civic life and to raise funds for rehabilitation of a playground.

Now the incumbent has some competition. The police department has entered German shepherd K-9 Sammy in this year’s race. Sammy is well known around town for visiting schools and community events.

Residents will pay $1 each to vote in the pet mayoral election, which is set for March 3.

The winner of the race “marches in parades, manages the playground fund, and on occasion meets with the Board of Selectmen, just to keep an eye on them,” said Town Manager Joe Gunter.

Read more at the The Associated Press

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Delta Rolls Out High-Tech Carrier At $850 Per Flight

It’s being offered at eight US locations.

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Delta pet travel

Delta is rolling out a pet travel carrier called CarePod with features such as a built-in hydration system and real-time updates throughout the journey.

CarePod will be exclusively offered at eight U.S. locations: Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York (JFK and LaGuardia), San Francisco and West Palm Beach. There will then be a phased approach to roll out the CarePod pet travel carrier across Delta’s U.S. network, according to a press release from the airline.

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The introduction comes after five years of research, development and testing, on top of a successful two-month trial, according to the release.

“Continuous innovation is in Delta’s DNA and the launch of the CarePod pet travel carrier, an industry first, is an example of us seeking out innovative partnerships and looking at ways to improve the customer experience throughout all parts of their journey,” said Shawn Cole, vice president — Delta Cargo. “As the only airline to offer this premium pet travel solution, it represents a significant improvement for the millions of people who want to travel with their four-legged family members.”

CNN reports that the CarePod “is roughly under two feet high and large enough for a dog up to 50 lbs.” and that the cost to book on is $850.

Delta explains that CarePod’s features include:

  • Stronger, industrial strength walls that are insulated to protect your pet against potential temperature fluctuations when moving between different climates and travel conditions.
  • Multi-layered windows and doors with specially angled blinds to help create a calming environment for pets by blocking out visual stress from unfamiliar environments.
  • The world’s first built-in hydration system for pet travel carriers, holding up to a liter of water that will auto replenish the spill-proof water bowl to ensure pets always have easy access to fresh water.
  • A powerful, enterprise level GPS tracking and monitoring system that connects your pet’s journey directly to the specialized Delta Cargo Control Center. The Center is managed 24/7/365 by trained experts who supervise and digitally monitor every CarePod pet journey from beginning to end, with the expertise and authority to send out the right staff on the ground to check on the pet if needed.
  • Seamless connectivity that enables you to use your mobile phone to view your pet’s key travel updates throughout their entire journey via deltacargo.com
  • CarePod pet travel carriers are made to the highest quality and standard, with human grade materials that are non-toxic, UV and antibacterial treated for longer lasting strength and protection.

The CarePod can accommodate dogs and cats permitted in a 300 series crate or smaller, and can be booked between three and 13 days prior to departure. The CarePod can be booked by visiting deltacargo.com or by calling Delta’s Cargo Customer Service Center at 1-800-352-2746.

“We’re thrilled that pet owners can now vacation and fly their pets with Delta’s best-in-class CarePod solution, having the peace of mind that their pets are protected in smart pet travel carriers, that are also digitally supervised by the Delta Cargo Control Center throughout the entire journey,” says Jenny Pan, founder and CEO of CarePod. “With the Delta partnership, we aim to raise the benchmark for pet air travel to allow families and pets to stay connected and travel safely together.”

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The airine notes:

Delta’s team of specialists and staff veterinarian constantly review processes and policies to identify areas of improvement to ensure the safety and health of pets. The airline has specially trained ground handlers who take care of pets at every step of their journey. Delta also has temperature-controlled holding areas and vehicles in numerous locations and overnight kenneling services.

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Dog Wanted: DOGTV Seeks Chief Puppy Officer

The winning candidate could become Instafamous.

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LOS ANGELES — DOGTV, a 24/7 digital TV channel for dogs, announced that it is looking for dog candidates to serve as the first-ever Chief Puppy Officer this year.

“We are thrilled to offer pet parents this unique chance to make their dog a pet influencer on Instagram,” said Beke Lubeach, general manager at DOGTV. “We’ve partnered with several popular social media influencers to provide the CPO’s dog parent with insight, tips, and training to help grow their pet’s Instagram account. This is our first time selecting a CPO and we look forward to working with the winner to spread the word about bringing joy to pups through DOGTV.”

The full benefits awarded for the dog selected as CPO include:

To be considered for the role of CPO, applicants must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be a pup of any age.
  • Be a fan of DOGTV.
  • Have an Instagram account (or their person needs to be willing to create one).
  • Love their human unconditionally and live to make them happy.

This contest coincides with DOGTV’s first-ever puppy takeover, called Puppies Gone Wild. During the week leading up to the Big Game on Feb. 2, puppies are taking over the channel. DOGTV is accepting applications for the CPO from now through Saturday, Feb. 1, at DOGTV.com/puppies. Applicants are encouraged to have their family and friends vote to increase their chances of being selected as the CPO. The identity of the dog selected to serve in this role will be revealed on DOGTV’s Instagram on Tuesday, Feb. 4.

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