Bayer Animal Health of Shawnee Mission, Kan., and Brakke Consulting of Dallas have launched a new research initiative that will investigate the causes behind the reduction in companion animal veterinary visits and identify ways on how veterinarians can increase them.
The study is being launched in response to statistics bringing light to this trend. For instance, one million fewer veterinary visits were recorded in 2006 versus 2001, according to data published by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Bayer Animal Health and Brakke Consulting point out that the decline has accelerated during the recent recession, with more than half of veterinarians seeing stagnant to declining visits.
“The research results should give veterinarians the information they need to better understand recent trends in pet owner behavior, which will help them to develop strategies to increase veterinary care,” said Ron Brakke, president and founder of Brakke Consulting.
Bayer Animal Health and Brakke Consulting will collaborate with the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues. Specifically, the study will measure pet owner perceptions of the need for veterinary services, obstacles to scheduling visits and the role of alternative channels for pet health information and products. The project will target companion animal veterinarians and U.S. pet owners of all economic levels and major ethnicities.
Fieldwork is expected to be completed by the end of November with preliminary results available by year’s end.