PetSmart’s new ownership model includes AAHA-accreditation

PetSmart kicked off the trend of offering veterinary services in retail stores back in 1994, when it partnered with Banfield Pet Hospitals to open in-store veterinary clinics in many of its retail locations. Petco followed suit in 2017 by partnering with Thrive Affordable Vet Care. And PetIQ is partnering with Walmart to open clinics in as many as 1,000 stores by the end of 2023.

Now PetSmart is revolutionizing the market again with the launch of PetSmart Veterinary Services (PVS) and an independent business ownership model that allows veterinarians to open their own AAHA-accredited practice inside a PetSmart location.

NEWStat reached out to Jennifer Bruns, DVM, MPVM, vice president of business development and quality for PVS, to find out more.

“We want to ensure pet parents are receiving the highest standard of care at every PVS hospital and are requiring each location to maintain AAHA accreditation,” said Bruns.

“We’re committed to assisting and supporting these independent veterinarians through the AAHA accreditation process because it’s one of the highest honors a practice can receive,” said Bruns. “AAHA is well respected in the veterinary community and this accreditation represents a sense of pride for veterinarians to highlight their dedication to medical excellence and the pets and pet parents they serve.”

In addition to AAHA accreditation, PVS will provide each practice owner with built-in resources for marketing, information technology, construction, training, reporting, and ongoing consultation.

“We believe [that] AAHA accreditation gives PVS hospitals a competitive edge and pet parents more confidence in the care their pet receives,” Bruns told NEWStat. “AAHA accreditation sets the bar for the best veterinary practices and will help provide PVS owners with a platform from which to deliver great quality of medicine.”

She described PVS as “an independent business ownership model that gives veterinarians a way to open their own franchised practice inside a PetSmart store at a fraction of the cost of starting a new practice from the ground up.”

“There’s no better veterinarian lobby than a PetSmart store,” Brun added. “Veterinarians who operate PVS locations can benefit from the store foot traffic to attract new customers; and pet parents will have greater access to local, trusted veterinarians and access to all the services, solutions and care they need within one convenient location.”

Bruns said PetSmart plans to open its first AAHA-accredited PVS locations before the end of the year: “Our internal design, construction and medical care teams are working closely with AAHA to ensure that the updated facilities will meet guidelines, which will help to expediate the accreditation process.”

Bruns called PVS a “game-changer” for younger associate veterinarians who have faced barriers to starting their own business due to the cost-prohibitive nature of building a practice: “As new veterinarian students graduate, they often carry education debt, which can make practice ownership even more challenging,” Bruns said. “PVS provides a more affordable model as well as the support and resources that will reduce the cost and time hurdles to starting their own business.”

Find out more about PVS and AAHA-accreditation here.

Photo Credit: © Andresr/E+ via Getty Images