April 15, 2020

Pet owners find new ways to connect with vets, trainers, and each other

Pet care looks different these days, so it’s a good thing Fido doesn’t care about your screen-time report.

Here’s a bit of good news: Pet shelters across the country are reporting huge increases in animal adoptions. Seems everyone wants a Good Boy to ride out the pandemic with.

But like so many other things, pet care looks different these days

At many veterinary clinics, the doctor will see your pet… but not you. Technicians retrieve animal patients at curbside check-ins and send their owners away.

In New York, clinics are considered an essential business and remain open, but Bond Vet recently launched a veterinary telehealth service for routine matters. Since March 24, the company has conducted 85 virtual visits.

It’s a good thing Fido doesn’t care about your screen-time report

There’s something inherently social about pet ownership, and pet-focused businesses are finding new ways to make fetch happen… from a distance.

  • Treat and toy purveyor BarkBox hosts virtual “Squeakeasy” comedy events.
  • Petco and PetSmart canceled obedience classes, but have telehealth services, at-home grooming tutorials, and remote training sessions rolled out or in the works. (Controversially, the 2 chains continue to offer pet grooming.)
  • Boris & Horton, a dog-friendly eatery in NYC, holds online trivia nights with themes like “Schit-tzu Creek.”
  • In Missouri, the Columbia Equestrian Center started taking 2 miniature horses, Mac and Chalupa Batman, to graze in yards and cheer up kids stuck at home. After the local health department shut down the operation, the stablehands pivoted to offering the pony program via Zoom.

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