Vet shortage means pandemic pets are underserved

Adam Christman Peter Weinstein Vet Perspective

A rise in pet ownership combined with a shortage of veterinarians may be causing an access to care problem

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Adam Christman, DVM, MBA: Well, let's talk about today's pet landscape too. So pet ownership is on the rise across the United States, pet parents are spending more than ever, as we know, today, but $90.5 billion, excuse me, 90.5 million US homes are now including a pet, which is incredible. And 1 in 5 households acquired a new pet during the pandemic. So listen to this again, because I just think this is powerful that in 2021 alone $123.6 billion was spent on pet care. So with that in mind, we know that we talked about the nurse shortage, we know that there's a rising cost of health care. You know, pet spending is on the rise, too, in 90.5 million US homes are there. What does that mean overall to the pet owner?

Peter Weinstein, DVM, MBA: Well, I think it means to the pet owner that they have an opportunity for optimal pet care. But I think they're facing the challenges that many industries are in terms of getting access to the veterinarian, because of the shortage of veterinarians, the shortage of staff, and some of the inefficiencies within the business model. So I think what we have is a new population of pet owners that that came out of the pandemic, I think we have an existing population of pet owners that that went through the pandemic. And I think that we will start to see as more and more of a demand for veterinary services, and a need for the veterinary practices to change to meet the demand of of new consumers, millennials, people who are working from home now that weren't working from home before. I think we're in a really unstable and unsure environment, at the veterinary level. And I think it's great opportunity for veterinarians to meet the needs of pet owners by understanding studies like this and other studies that help them understand where the mindset is, of the pet owners that we take careof.

Adam Christman, DVM, MBA: And the technology is changing so quickly. And I think it's a great opportunity to kind of seize that and, you know, adapt to artificial intelligence, virtual care, telemedicine, the list goes on, because that's what our clients are looking for right now. You know, so I think it's interesting. So yeah, the pandemic...95% of people could not imagine being without their pet during the pandemic. I think I would agree with that. Right. I don't know what I would do without mine. That's for sure.

Peter Weinstein, DVM, MBA: Well, let's see, I added 2 pets during the pandemic.

Adam Christman, DVM, MBA: Oh, you did?

Peter Weinstein, DVM, MBA: Well, it was cheaper than Prozac.

Adam Christman, DVM, MBA: Yeah. Yeah, saves you a copay right there.

Peter Weinstein, DVM, MBA: Sharon wanted a bird, so we got to Senegal parrot, and we added a puppy about a year ago or so. And so we have, we have a new puppy that we've taken through the pandemic who could use some socialization because he spent way too much time with us and not enough time with other dogs and people, but we're a perfect example of pandemic pets.

Adam Christman, DVM, MBA: Yeah, yeah. I'm surprised I did not get another one, too. But, you know, having 4 is enough, too. I you you have 4 to fill each chamber of your heart. So that's how...

Peter Weinstein, DVM, MBA: Aw, I need a frog.

Adam Christman, DVM, MBA: It's just 3.

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