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Pet superstores - threat or opportunity?
  1. John Bower

    John Bower is a senior partner in a nine-vet small animal hospital in Plymouth. He is a past-president of the BVA and BSAVA, co-author of the book ‘Veterinary Practice Management’ (1991), published by Blackwells, and a founder member of the Veterinary Practice Management Association.


TRADITIONALLY, the veterinary profession has had a love-hate relationship with the pet shop. Vets provided medicine and surgery, while the shops provided the pet and its accessories - lead, collar, food and bedding. More recently, the lines of distinction have become blurred. Vets, as well as expressing concern over the welfare of dogs and cats for sale in pet shops, also stock pet food and behavioural therapy aids and toys to sell to clients; pet shops retail ear and skin treatments plus other over the counter products and do not refer customers to the vet as often as in the past. Now a super breed of pet shop has emerged - the pet superstore. Here, John Bower asks, does it represent a threat to the small pet shop and to traditional small animal practice, or an opportunity?

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