Should DVMs sell pet food?

February 21, 2017
Ernest E. Ward Jr., DVM
Ernest E. Ward Jr., DVM

Veterinary Economics

If the answer to either of these two questions is "yes," then ABSOLUTELY your veterinary hospital needs to sell pet food to pet owners, according to Ernie Ward, DVM.

You know what Ernie Ward, DVM-a CVC educator, Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member and founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention-is going to say: Nutrition for patients is important for every veterinary practice ... and every patient.

What does that mean? For some practices, it means picking pet foods to recommend and selling them. But it's not about the sale, Dr. Ward says.

"Do you sell wellness? Do you encourage preventive medicine," he asks. If the answer to that is "yes," than you sell pet food.

It's about advocating for quality of life," he says.

And you know full well some pet diets out there aren't great, so Dr. Ward is urging all DVMs to learn what's good, what's bad, and recommend the right thing.

What does that look like? Aim for two protocols to make sure nutrition is a part of your care:

Sell pet foods you've researched and recommend

Ask every pet owner what they feed their pet-and how often and how much.

"We have to start these conversations," Dr. Ward says. "It's essential."

Watch his impassioned plea below.