Today's Veterinary Business

AUG 2018

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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5 August/September 2018 • TODAYSVETERINARYBUSINESS.COM Editor Ken Niedziela Art Director Brent Cashman Vice President of Sales & Marketing Rick Boggess Director of Sales Doreen Carpenter Senior Account Executive Chelsea Elbert Senior Account Executive Allyson Archambault Account Executive Paige Ellington Director of Audience Development Sondra Reynolds Director of Training and Channel Relationships Rachel Bailey Group Publisher Chris Kelly NAVC Chief Executive Officer Thomas M. Bohn, MBA, CAE NAVC Chief Media and Sales Officer Laura C.S. Walker Kelly Baltzell, MA, Beyond Indigo Pets president Mark Cushing, JD, Animal Policy Group partner Amanda Donnelly, DVM, MBA, ALD Consulting owner Eleanor Green, DVM, DACVIM, DABVP, Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences dean Charlotte Lacroix, DVM, JD, Veterinary Business Advisors founder Mary Beth Leininger, DVM, former AVMA president and retired Hartville Group executive Zack Mills, DVM, Duluth, Georgia, practice owner Jeff Thoren, DVM, PCC, BCC, Gifted Leaders founder Ernie Ward, DVM, CVFT, E3 Management owner Fritz Wood, CPA, CFP, veterinary industry consultant Editorial advisory board An Official Publication of the Welcome! NAVC board of directors President K. Leann Kuebelbeck, DVM, DACVS Immediate Past President Gail Gibson, VMD President-elect Cheryl Good, DVM Vice President Paige Allen, MS, RVT Treasurer Laurel Kaddatz, DVM Directors Harold Davis Jr., RVT, VTS (ECC) Sally Haddock, DVM Bob Lester, DVM Mark Russak, DVM, CVJ Today's Veterinary Business (ISSN 2574-5816 print and ISSN 2574-5824 online) is published bimonthly (Feb/Mar, Apr/May, Jun/Jul, Aug/Sep, Oct/Nov, Dec/Jan) by the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC), 622 E. Washington St., Suite 300, Orlando, FL 32801. Copyright 2018. All rights reserved. Please note: The opinions stated in this publication are those of the respective authors and do not necessarily represent the opinions of NAVC or its editorial advisory board. Subscriptions only: For a new subscription, renewal, cancellation or address change, contact 630-739-0900 or visit to complete an online form. Your subscriber ID is directly above your name on the address label. Free subscriptions only to qualifying subscribers. Qualifying subscribers include veterinarians, members of the veterinary health care team, veterinary school faculty, veterinary students and other professionals allied to the field. Eastern States Veterinary Association Inc. (NAVC) reserves the right to determine eligibility for a free subscription. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to CDS/Today's Veterinary Business, 440 Quadrangle Drive, Suite E, Bolingbrook, IL 60440. Strolling the exhibitor aisles at the Colorado Convention Center, I came across the industry heavyweights as well as the small vendors and everyone in between. But what grabbed my attention at the American Veterinary Medical Association convention was a company I didn't expect to see occupying a large island booth: Petco. Petco, like PetSmart, is competing aggressively in the veterinary space as Amazon and other online challengers capture a growing share of the pet supplies market. PetSmart stores host more than 850 Banfield hospitals, and Petco is expanding on a smaller scale with in-store Thrive and The Pet Vet practices and Vetco vaccination clinics. What was most interesting as I chatted with a recruiter was another logo emblazoned on the Petco signage: PetCoach. What started as a pet advice website has evolved into a digital and brick-and-mortar business. The first PetCoach store opened in July in San Marcos, California, and more are on the way at existing Petco stores. A spokeswoman wouldn't say how many stores will be converted or where. What is PetCoach? Imagine a Petco store with less inventory and more space dedicated to services such as grooming, training, day care and bathing. Did I mention veterinary care — wellness checks, diagnos- tics, outpatient surgeries and mobile house calls? "Sure," you might say, "my hospital has it all, too." But wait, there's more. For $9 a month, a client — or "member," as PetCoach phrases it — gets up to five veterinary office visits a year, $2 self-washes, $4.99 phone or online consultations, product discounts, lower-priced training, groom- ing and day care services, and, to cap it all off, a free monthly toy or treat. That's quite a lineup. Add to the equation the Petco name and the company's marketing prowess and you might be saying, "Yikes!" My view? First, PetCoach is not a game changer, but the rollout is worth keeping an eye on. Second, practices of all types and sizes can and do thrive in today's veterinary industry. Before I finish, I have a surprise for you. Turn to Page 50 for the debut of Legal Lingo, a column written by attorney Nicole Snyder. What do you know about noncompete agreements? Does a potential buyer of your practice want you to sign one? Do you want your prospective associate veterinarian to sign one? Legal Lingo, our 18th column, explains it all. What do you think about PetCoach? What's your reaction to the news on Page 7 that Long Island University wants to open a veterinary college a year from now? Email me at so I can share your comments about these subjects and other trending topics. Ken Niedziela, editor New from Petco: PetCoach Ken Niedziela • Editor My view? First, PetCoach is not a game changer, but the rollout is worth keeping an eye on. Second, practices of all types and sizes can and do thrive in today's veterinary industry. Today's Veterinary Business would like to apologize to both Merial, now part of Boehringer Ingelheim, and Zoetis for an error in the AlphaTRAK SoundByte insert in the June/July 2018 issue. The Check-Off & Echo Notes on Page 2 of the AlphaTRAK SoundByte mistakenly referenced Merial's Heartgard Plus. The corrected AlphaTRAK SoundByte is in this issue. Correction

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