Pet Owners Drive Veterinary Care Changes
Published on August 17, 2018 by A. Rothstein
Today, people consider pets a part of their family. This trend of humanizing pets has paved the way for projecting health and safety considerations onto them. It has also helped redefine animal rights.
Pet owners now spend more money on pet care than ever before. For example, Americans spent approximately $69.51 billion in 2017 on their pets and are expected to spend $72.13 billion in 2018, according to the American Pet Products Association.
Vet Care Responds to Client Demands
Pet health concerns are addressed quite seriously. Pet care has evolved into two major categories–pet medicine/health and pet wellness. Although the category names may vary according to circumstances, both come under the purview of veterinary care.
Owners wish to live longer, healthier lives; they want the same for their pets too. Nowadays, they reach out to veterinarians and veterinary technicians even using social media and emails. They are aware of and interested in a highly interactive veterinarian-client-patient-relationship (VCPR), adopted by the American Animal Hospital Association.
More Advice for Pet Owners
Veterinary professionals also are more responsive and provide comprehensive care and advice on various aspects of pet health, ranging from food to mental health. They advise pet owners on responsible ownership, different kinds of certified pet food, and hygiene as part of preventive care and wellness.
This advisory role is a result of the changing face of veterinary medicine. Not only have such non-traditional services become popular, significant changes have happened in traditional medical care and hospitalized treatment for ailing pets also.
Veterinary Tools and Treatments
Currently, tools and treatments that are used for human patients–including MRI, CT scans and ultrasound, flu shots, and laser surgery–are being used to diagnose and treat illnesses in pets. Some veterinary clinics have facilities for new interventions, including underwater therapy for arthritis, and alternative medicine techniques, such as acupuncture.
Pets who need more specific treatments are referred to specialty hospitals or veterinary specialists. Obese pets are provided nutritional and behavioral management services, and aged and problematic pets are treated for mental health issues.
Trends Veterinary Technicians Should Watch Out For
Less people own homes these days, as they prefer renting to owning. Pet ownership could correspondingly decrease, as a result. Moreover, people are increasingly adopting pets from shelters. Veterinarians should work with such organizations to identify and help people in need of veterinary services.
Pets Home Alone
Single-parent families and households where both parents are working are on the increase. They may face time or financial constraints and mobile veterinary services would be welcome in such cases. Veterinarians and Vet Techs can either make house calls or pick up pets and take them to clinics.
Millennials and Pets
Although millennials currently make up only 24% of pet owners in America, they will most likely become a strong consumer force by 2020. They are considered less likely than the previous generations to ask for vet advice, according to the American Pet Products Association.
However, they use pet daycare, pet boarding and grooming services more frequently. If there are kennel or grooming services attached to vet clinics, they would prefer using them. Moreover, it is a chance to spread awareness about proper pet care and veterinary medicine.
Pet owners are more tech-savvy than ever before. They use wearable devices on their pets to track their activities faster. They now want nutrition, portions, and service specifically customized for pets, as per their unique requirements. The next step could be genetically customized pet care.
Although it is necessary to have an in-person examination to establish a valid veterinarian-client-patient-relationship, current clients may want to use telemedicine to provide improved care to their pets. They may also want teleconsulting to consult with vet tech. Veterinarians should be open to and keep up with such trends.
Human beings are responsible for ensuring animal health and wellness. When it comes to pets, the responsibility is shared by owners and veterinary professionals alike. They have to work as a team and rely on each other to provide pets with happy, healthy lives.
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