Drs. Foster and Smith today launched an initiative to help educate pet owners on the necessity of vaccinations. Only 50 percent of dogs and 40 percent of cats are vaccinated against vaccine preventable diseases such as distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis and feline leukemia, according to the catalog and online seller of pet supplies and pharmaceuticals.
The Drs. Foster and Smith National Pet Vaccination Initiative aims to increase the number of vaccinated pets by lowering prices on all its vaccine products. The company noted that it offers a full selection of dog and cat vaccines and offers a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.
Drs. Foster and Smith has also posted free online videos on how to vaccinate pets at home.
“I’m not sure that the average pet owner realizes both the importance of having their pets vaccinated and also the fact that they can do this at home,” said Race Foster, DVM. “Of course, veterinarians need to provide rabies vaccinations, but with most other vaccinations, people can do the vaccinating at home and much more economically. No prescription is required. We are working with manufacturers right now to get them onboard with even better pricing. With the help of major vaccine manufacturers and Drs. Foster and Smith, America’s pets no longer need to go unvaccinated.”
Cost of vaccines, the inconvenience of making an appointment and not understanding the importance of vaccination seem to be the three primary reasons why people neglect to vaccinate their pets, according to Marty Smith, DVM.
“In other cases, it’s because people think a prescription is required and don’t want to go through the process of getting one,” he said. “But with most vaccines no prescription at all is required. It’s this group of pet owners who are not vaccinating their pets today that we are focused on helping. Of course, the elements of our National Pet Vaccination Initiative benefit those who already vaccinate their pets as well, so it’s a winner for every pet owner, rescue organization, shelter and breeder.”
All vaccines are shipped in the manufacturer’s original, unopened container. This is to ensure vaccine quality, consistency in labeling and to assure the person receiving the package that it has not been tampered with, according to Gordon Magee, head of Internet Marketing and Media for Drs. Foster and Smith.
However, this means that the purchase of one type of vaccine may yield 10 or 25 doses, depending on the manufacturer, way more than what an individual pet owner would need. Most vaccines are not currently sold in single doses.
Magee said people could ban together with other pet owners in the neighborhood who need the same vaccine.
“Ultimately, though, the hope is that the initiative will encourage manufacturers to make single dose vaccines so pet owners can purchase only the amount needed,” he said.
Although Magee added that he wasn’t aware of any specific manufacturers headed this route.
Drs. Foster and Smith is also trying to be a leader in helping stem the national epidemic of unvaccinated pets, much like they were leaders 25 years ago when they were the first to offer free spay/neuter services for those in need, Magee said.
“The idea [behind the initiative] is not necessarily to make money,” he said. “The goal in that regard is just to break even.”