Companion News for May 14

Walmart plans to open dozens of veterinary clinics

Retail giant Walmart is expanding farther into the veterinary channel with the opening of nine more walk-in clinics and the launch of an online pet medication store, according to Today’s Veterinary Business. The retailer announced that a corporate partner, Essentials PetCare, will operate wellness clinics inside nine Dallas-area Walmart stores by June 2019. Essentials PetCare opened its first Walmart-based clinic in 2016 in Port Richey, Florida. Walmart reported that it expects to host as many as 100 veterinary clinics nationwide within a year. The company already partners with PetIQ on about 20 clinics that are branded VetIQ Petcare and staffed by contract veterinarians.

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PetIQ to acquire Perrigo Animal Health

PetIQ, Inc., and Perrigo Animal Health announced they have executed a definitive agreement under which PetIQ will acquire Perrigo Animal Health, according to a release. The $185 million cash transaction has been unanimously approved by PetIQ’s Board of Directors. Headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, Perrigo Animal Health is a manufacturer and marketer of over-the-counter pet health and wellness products with products sold under brands including PetArmor®, Sentry®, and Sergeant’s™.

Trupanion launches in Australia

Pet insurance company Trupanion announced it’s launching an Australia segment, the first major move for the company outside North America. Currently, Trupanion insures more than 500,000 pets in the United States and Canada. The Australia branch is a partnership between Trupanion and Hollard Insurance Company.

Juan Mena named Director of Marketing – Companion Animal for Vets Plus

Vets Plus, Inc., announced the appointment of Juan Mena to the position of Director of Marketing – Companion Animal. Mena, with 25 years of sales and marketing experience among several companion animal brands, was most recently Director of Marketing for OPKO Health, Inc. in Miami, Florida until joining Vets Plus.

Homemade cat food diets could be risky, according to study

Most homemade cat food recipes are unlikely to provide cats all their essential nutrients, University of California researchers show in a new study highlighted by Today’s Veterinary Nurse. Some recipes could also contain ingredients potentially toxic to cats. Scientists evaluated 114 recipes from online sources and books, written by non-veterinarians and veterinarians. Forty percent of the recipes did not provide any feeding instructions, and the remainder lacked detail or were unclear.

Study: Increase in pet ownership linked to pets in classrooms

Pet Products News reported that exposure to pets in the classroom setting correlates to an increase in pet ownership, according to the 2019-20 American Pet Products Association (APPA) National Pet Owners Survey. Prior studies have indicated that pets can positively impact the lives of children, but the increase in pet ownership correlation is an interesting insight, according to Steve King, CEO of APPA. “Out of nearly 5,000 respondents, 28 percent indicated that their child had a pet in their classroom,” King said. “Seventy-six percent of parents indicated that the classroom pet had a positive effect on their pet ownership, versus a mere 0.4 percent who said there was a negative effect. Here’s where things get interesting. When asked if their family got a pet as a result of their child’s exposure to a classroom pet, 36 percent said yes.” The Pets in the Classroom grant program, an organization supported by APPA, the Pet Industry Distributors Association, the World Pet Association, and participating manufacturers and retailers, provides grants to pre-kindergarten through 9th grade teachers in both private and public schools with funding toward a small animal or for pet supplies.