Walk-in Veterinary Clinics provided by Essentials PetCare will be expanded to nine Walmart stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas beginning later this month and in June according to a statement released by Essentials PetCare. Walmart also separately announced plans to expand to 100 clinics in the next 12 months.
In 2016, Essentials PetCare launched the very first retail veterinary clinic located within a Walmart store in Port Richey, Florida. The company’s clinics provide routine vaccinations and treatment for a variety of minor illnesses, such as ear infections, common skin conditions, and urinary issues. More serious ailments and surgeries are referred to full-service veterinary hospitals in the surrounding community.
“We are thrilled to be working with Essentials to expand veterinary care at Walmart stores,” said Marilee McInnis, director for Walmart Corporate Affairs. “Pets play an important role in many people’s lives, and making sure families have easy access to high-quality, affordable veterinary care is in-line with helping our customers save money and live better, including their four-legged family members.”
The Dallas-Fort Worth clinics will be located at Walmart stores in the cities of Anna, Cross Roads, Fort Worth, Frisco, Gainesville, Kaufman, Prosper, Royse City, and Weatherford. The first Essentials PetCare clinic is scheduled to open on May 22 at the Kaufman Walmart on Kings Fort Parkway, followed by other locations in June. Specific opening dates for the other clinics will be posted on the company’s website in the coming weeks.
“Having store locations within 10 miles of nearly 90 percent of the country’s population makes Walmart an ideal venue for our veterinary clinics,” said Dr. Douglas Spiker, founder and president of Essentials PetCare. “Convenient access, as well as affordability, are often cited in industry research as key determinants in why millions of pet dogs and cats in the United States are not receiving even the most basic medical care.”
The lack of basic veterinary care can lead to significant increases in serious and sometimes fatal disease, unnecessary suffering, and premature death. Untreated zoonotic diseases can also be passed to humans and pose particular health risks to pregnant women, the elderly, young children, and people with weakened immune systems.
According to a December 2018 study published by Access to Veterinary Care Coalition and the University of Tennessee, nearly 28 percent of U.S. households with an estimated 29 million dogs and cats experience barriers to veterinary services because of cost and not knowing where to access care. The report concludes that a new model of veterinary care is needed to help reduce the number of pets not receiving medical care. To see the full report, go to http://avcc.utk.edu/avcc-report.pdf.
Essential PetCare clinics also serve to compliment full-service veterinary hospitals by introducing veterinary care to a large segment of the U.S. pet owning market that has traditionally not pursued medical services because of cost.
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