Weekly companion animal news: January 29, 2024

Petco and Nationwide launch co-branded pet insurance

Petco and Nationwide have introduced a new pet health insurance offering available on Petco’s website. The co-branded insurance product allows customers to build a policy meant to fit the needs of their pet and budget, according to the announcement. Petco | Nationwide pet insurance offers essential coverage for unexpected veterinary expenses resulting from accidental injuries like broken bones. Pet owners can also choose optional coverage for veterinary expenses related to diagnosis and treatment of illness or disease. Wellness coverage is available to help manage costs of routine and preventive care such as checkups and vaccinations. Pet owners can customize their policy through reimbursement ranging from 50% to 90% for eligible veterinary expenses, flexible annual deduction options from $100 to $500, and coverage limits starting at $500.

Chewy invests in pet health care through veterinary clinics, insurance

In a keynote session during the final day of the recent National Retail Federation Big Show in New York City, Chewy CEO Sumit Singh outlined the company’s vision for the future, including the growing importance of pet health care to the business. Chewy has partnered with hundreds of veterinarians and customers to design an in-practice and post-visit experience at its clinics. The retailer also has its Connect With a Vet telehealth service, enabling Chewy customers to get advice from its licensed veterinary team and leave with a personalized consult report. Singh also believes pet insurance is an underpenetrated category in the United States, largely because it’s considered too expensive by many pet owners. Chewy has partnered with multiple pet insurance providers within its CarePlus program to give its customers options when it comes to insurance purchases. Total Retail has more.

Colorado Springs veterinarian ‘cautiously optimistic’ that mysterious illness among dogs is slowing

A Colorado Springs veterinarian is “cautiously optimistic” that the mysterious respiratory illness among dogs is slowing, KKTV reports. North Springs Veterinary Referral Center, which was seeing about two to three cases of the illness each day before Thanksgiving, reported it’s now seeing about two to three cases per week. “We don’t know what is the underlying cause still, but I think that because we are treating earlier also, the dogs are doing better than they would be if they waited until they had pneumonia,” said Dr. Lindsey Ganzer of North Springs VRC. Veterinarians across the country were warning dog owners to avoid highly populated dog areas. “The owners are listening and also being proactive,” Ganzer said. “I’m cautiously optimistic that we’re on the swing where there is less and less cases and maybe we only see them periodically.”

Center Point Bio-Tech launches AlphaION veterinary diagnostic test

Center Point Bio-Tech announced it successfully launched AlphaION at the 2024 VMX, and orders exceeded expectations. AlphaION is a novel, patent-pending veterinary diagnostic system for use in veterinary practices, according to the announcement. It aims to bring more testing options to veterinary practices, using lab automation and artificial intelligence to improve hospital workflow. AlphaION is now available for purchase, with delivery anticipated for the third quarter of 2024.

Online symposium will focus on chronic pain in dogs

Canine Arthritis Management is teaming up with eLearning.Vet to deliver an online symposium on chronic pain. The event on April 5-7 aims to “empower every attendee to become competent advocates of chronic pain management,” according to CAM. Each speaker will be joined by a colleague or friend to further expand attendees’ knowledge. More information is available from eLearning.Vet.

Banfield report offers sustainability advice for veterinary practices

Banfield has released its seventh annual Veterinary Emerging Topics, or VET, report, created in partnership with Veterinary Advantage publisher NAVC. The report focuses on sustainability in veterinary medicine and offers actionable advice for veterinary practices and professionals to reduce their environmental impact. This includes steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, limit material waste and divert waste from landfills, and use antibiotics judiciously to preserve their efficacy. The full report is available from Banfield.

Five emerging trends in pet health care

Pet ownership is at an all-time high and the global pet care market is estimated to grow from $246 billion in 2023 to $368 billion by 2030. Spending on veterinary services in the United States alone exceeded $38 billion in 2023. People today are more bonded to their pets, increasing the demand for gold-standard veterinary care and resulting in five key trends that will radically impact the pet health industry in 2024 and beyond, Forbes reports. For starters, technology enablement will help bridge the veterinary supply and demand gap, while at the same time, telemedicine is poised to become an essential diagnostic tool. Second, AI tools will unlock better care outcomes and health longevity. Third, the need for greater efficiency and technology investment will continue to drive the corporatization of veterinary clinics. Fourth, next-generation pet owners will drive tech-enabled convenience. And finally, clinic networks may soon only accept insured pets.

Dog size is linked to various diseases, study finds

A comprehensive study involving over 25,000 dogs across 238 breeds in the United States has uncovered links between the size of a dog and its risk for various health conditions. The University of Washington study marks a significant step in understanding why smaller dogs generally have a longer lifespan compared to their larger counterparts, Earth.com reports. “Age in dogs is associated with the risk of many diseases, and canine size is a major factor in that risk,” the researchers reported. “However, the size patterns are complex. While small size dogs tend to live longer, some diseases are more prevalent among small dogs.” To investigate, the experts analyzed data from 27,541 dogs, part of the ongoing Dog Aging Project. This extensive dataset allowed for a comprehensive view of how size impacts health risks across a dog’s life.