Great challenges often yield innovation and change. How you practice today is likely different than just five months ago. Let’s look at some of the changes that might be here to stay.
Strengthening of the human-animal bond
You might have thought the humanization of animals and the deep bond was already strong. But a Banfield Pet Hospital study (May 2020) found that 84% of pet owners surveyed feel more attuned to their pet’s health during quarantine and 67% plan to make changes to how they care for their pet.
While many practices have suffered during COVID, others have been busy because pet owners working from home have noticed changes in their pet. And they have time to take them in.
All indicators are the net findings are that pets helped many people through lonely quarantine time, and the pet owners are not going to forget it.
Many practices are combining drop-off visits with either telemedicine or phone consults. For many pet owners, this could become a more frequent option.
Zoom and other video conference systems have rapidly expanded, so millions of pet owners now have both proficiency and access to these systems. This is likely something that will continue because of the high pet ownership of millennials and their trend of having two working “pet parents.”
You might want to rethink the exam room. Consider adding in some exam tables in the treatment area that allow veterinarians to not only manage the pet but also place a camera or computer. The Preferred Animal Lift Table with Unified Top gives flexibility to position the pet and equipment as well as use tiedowns.
During the height of COVID, the Google search, “Why is grooming essential for pets?” spiked. Combine that with record numbers of pet owners taking their dogs for walks (and allowing mud rolling), you get a pent-up demand for grooming services.
The grooming industry has been hard hit by shutdowns. Most states designated them as non-essential services. Now, pet owners are finding out that is not their thought.
Consider adding some basic grooming packages. Bath, nails and a brush out will help the dog. And it could be as simple as contracting a day or two a week with a groomer.
Contactless Dropoff for Appointments
Some areas of the country have experienced a spike in veterinary visits. The biggest challenge has been how to keep veterinary staff, the pets and the pet owners all save.
We have seen Shor-Line customers become quite creative with our products. They have developed ways to use cages in strategic and protected areas to allow pet owners to drop them off and then the vet practices to collect the pet. The process reverses at pickup.
Here are several examples of products we have adapted for customers and now make available for sale. Contact a Shor-Line rep to discuss your needs for contactless drop-off.
Good news about pets
The dogs (at least) are loving the new work-from-home arrangements. Their cheerful companionship has made their pet parents love them even more.
And as the country is walking owned and shelter dogs at an unheard of rate, you can count on pet owners being even more devoted to caring for their furry friend.