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A practice that says "no thanks" on boarding


In a perfect world, boarding and grooming would be a great source of revenue. However, we don't live in the perfect world.

In a perfect world, boarding and grooming would be a great source of revenue for our clinic and a convenience for our clients. However, we don't live in the perfect world, we live in the real world. We're proud of the fact that we're a medical facility that devotes 100 percent of its energies to medicine, and we explain that to clients who question why we don't offer boarding and grooming. For these clients, we recommend home sitters as an alternative. Do we lose some clients who want the full-service experience? Sure. Do we pick up a few clients who are upset with their last veterinarian over a boarding or grooming issue? You bet we do. In fact, I think for every one client we lose, we gain two or three.

A doctor should be judged on his or her medical skills, compassion, and quality of care, not on the cut a groomer gave a pet or the fact that a dog experienced diarrhea after it was boarded. The notion that a veterinary hospital must offer boarding and grooming is changing with veterinary medicine. As clients want better medicine, approaching and sometimes exceeding human care, they're beginning to separate those items. Would you think it's acceptable for a daycare to be attached to a pediatrician's office? What about a hospital that rents beds like a hotel?

Keith Roberts is hospital administrator at Lange Veterinary Center in Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

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