Good News: Pet Owners Are Still Spending!

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At a time when so many economic factors seem to be going against veterinary practices there is some good news that should be encouraging to every veterinary practice owner. The good news is that pet owners are still spending money on their pets! They may be cutting back in others areas of  their lives, such as eating out, but they are still spending on their fur babies.

Consider this…at time of writing, DineEquity, Inc the parent to the IHOP and Applebee’s restaurant chains reported a nearly 42-percent decline in first-quarter net income.  However,  despite cut backs like these in consumer spending, we have found some great examples of consumer spending on pets. For example, pet store franchises such as Pet Supplies Plus and Woof Gang Bakery continue to open more and more stores.

However, the company we want to bring to your attention this month is Bark Box, which can be found at Bark Box is a paid subscription service where pet owners receive a box of goodies for their dog in the mail each month.  Subscribers can choose to pay monthly, quarterly or six monthly priced at  $29/month, $24/month and $19/month respectively.  A Bark Box typically contains a combination of 4-6 treats, toys, and hygiene products.

Incidentally, we have seen some local Bark Box deals on Groupon where literally hundreds of pet owners have signed up for a monthly box.

There are two big takeaways here:

1. Bark Box are using a model that we have long been an advocate of…Continuity. It proves that pet owners are willing to commit to making monthly payments for pet related products and services. If you’ve been sitting on the fence about introducing monthly paid wellness plans then this should give you another reason to make the move.

2. There is no reason why you couldn’t be offering this service to your clients and the other pet owners in your area. The hallmark of an entrepreneurial veterinarian is that they have other pet related ’satellite’ services that orbit around there main veterinary business. These provide extra income streams as well as ways to attract  new pet owners to your veterinary business.

So pet owners are still spending on their pets, you need to ensure they are spending with you!


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