Companion News for June 4

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Dog owners get more exercise, study shows

The New York Times reported that dog owners are about four times more likely than other people to meet today’s physical activity guidelines, according to a large-scale new study of dogs and exercise. The study suggests that having a dog can strongly influence how much people exercise. But it also raises questions about why some dog owners never walk their pets or otherwise work out and whether anyone should acquire a dog just to encourage themselves to move.

Hillrom uniting company brands

Hillrom announced it is uniting its acquired company brands, including Welch Allyn, under a new, united company brand — Hillrom — that will be used across all its businesses and functions. “Hillrom has doubled in size over the past several years, primarily through acquisitions that have quite literally changed our business,” the company said in a release. “Our customers are confused by our multiple brands and company names. By consolidating to one new Hillrom brand, we are positioning ourselves as a unified company to our collective customers.” Hillrom said the company will continue to be committed to its channel partners, and the Welch Allyn name will remain “strong and prominent” on its products as a family product name. For more information, visit

BarkBox available to Amazon subscribers

According to Pet Product News, Bark, the New York-based company behind the BarkBox, is making its BarkBox subscriptions available to Amazon customers in the U.S. Through Amazon’s subscription box store, pet owners can now use Amazon as their preferred payment method. The company launched select products on Amazon last year. “Our vision is to serve every dog in the world,” said Matt Meeker, co-founder and CEO of Bark. “Last year, we began selling Bark products on Amazon to reach more of the 60 million dog households in the U.S. Adding easy access to BarkBox subscriptions will now help us to easily reach millions of Amazon customers with our most popular product.”

Compassion-First Pet Hospitals welcomes Veterinary Referral Center of Northern Virginia

Veterinary Referral Center of Northern Virginia in Manassas, Virginia, announced they are joining the Compassion-First Pet Hospitals family of well-known veterinary hospitals. Commonly referred to as VRC-NOVA, their 77 employees have been serving the veterinary medical needs of the Northern Virginia community for more than 30 years. In this time, they have offered surgical services, internal medicine and ophthalmology. In addition, VRC-NOVA offers 24/7 emergency care. Partnering with Compassion-First comes on the heels of a recent remodel and expansion of their ophthalmology department and their emergency services.

PetGuard moves HQ, partners with logistics provider

According to Petfood Industry, PetGuard, a pioneer in providing all-natural, well-balanced diets and pet care products for dogs and cats, announced that its corporate headquarters has moved to Sewickley, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh. Additionally, the company revealed that it has joined forces with Erie-based Team Hardinger, a full-service 3rd-party logistics provider, which offers trucking, warehousing, and brokerage services backed by industry-leading technology and processes.

Disaster preparedness resources available

June is National Pet Preparedness Month. Today’s Veterinary Practice created a client handout to help pet owners be prepared for severe weather. Click here to view the plan.

Team of therapy dogs provide comfort to Walter Reed patients

Baltimore, Maryland-based WBL-TV recently highlighted seven military facility dogs at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center that provide animal-assisted therapy intervention during the recovery of wounded soldiers and active-duty personnel. The team of dogs is on a mission to make a difference, and one particular Lab leaves patients with a special feeling. It’s Sully, the former service dog to President George H.W. Bush. “President Bush, to allow him to be here and to have that set as that was his wish that he (Sully) come in and do the work that he does, it definitely is something that I think all of us handlers feel, like, ‘Whoa, this is a big deal and a big responsibility,’” said Haley Simeone, a facility dog handler. For more, visit

PetIQ announces opening of location at a Meijer Supercenter

PetIQ, Inc. announced the grand opening of its first VetIQ veterinary wellness center at a Meijer Supercenter in Fremont, Michigan. Susan Sholtis, PetIQ’s President, commented, “We are thrilled to be opening our first of several VetIQ locations with Meijer. They are known to be an innovative retailer for over 80 years and have built one of the leading pet departments in the food retail industry. We are excited to support their growing commitment to the pet community through the addition of our veterinary wellness services at select Meijer locations to help them deliver added value and convenience to Meijer customers. This aligns with our mission to make pet lives better by offering convenient access and affordable choices for veterinary products and services.”

Arbutus Medical expands Vets for Safe Surgery program

Arbutus Medical announced it is expanding its Vets for Safe Surgery charitable partner program, which donates surgical tools to organizations treating vulnerable animals for trauma injury, both local and international. Organizations are invited to apply to Arbutus Medical to be one of two organizations selected to receive free orthopedic power tool kits, at a value of $1,500 each.