How our love for pets is changing the veterinary industry

Posted On February 20, 2020

Pets have become an increasingly important part of American life. Pet ownership has grown from 56 percent of the households in this country in 1988 to about two-thirds of them today.

More pets means more demand for veterinarians. But those larger numbers of pet owners also have different priorities than their parents and grandparents. Their pets live in the house, not the backyard. They pay closer attention to their diets than just tossing them table scraps.

So they not only need more veterinarians, but veterinarians who are ready to give them the level and type of care they’re looking for.

Our guest in the latest episode of “What’s Working with Cam Marston,” knows all about this, and has positioned his company to meet that need. Brian Garish is president of Banfield Pet Hospitals, the largest general veterinary practice in the nation.

Part of the Mars family of businesses – the same company that produces M&Ms – Banfield is based in Portland, Oregon, and currently employs more than 19,000 associates in over a thousand pet hospitals. You’ve probably seen one of them in your local PetSmart store.

Banfield’s focus, Garish says, is increasingly on preventative care.

“I think it’s an evolution,” Garish says. “We’re seeing it in human healthcare, in the need and how companies are wanting to spend more money on prevention versus just the symptoms that have occurred already.”

Garish shares with us what his company is doing to encourage, attract and retain new veterinarians, the demographic shift that’s occurring in the industry, the expanding role of veterinary technicians, the importance of using social media to connect with employees, and what compassion fatigue is and what his company is doing about it.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in six veterinarians considers suicide and one in 10 suffers from severe psychological distress,” he says. “Those are facts that we cannot ignore. We have an obligation and a responsibility to take care of our people.”

Join us for a healthy discussion about the growth and challenges of the veterinary industry, and stick around at the end for a different kind of Mardi Gras story from David Webb.

Categories: What's Working with Cam Marston