Pet Urgent Care Centers Growing Trend as Human Counterparts Exploding
The latest development in the world of urgent care centers doesn’t have anything to do with treating people at all. It appears the trend of these convenient walk in medical clinics has found its way into the world of our furry companions as a local vet in North Carolina announced they will be opening an urgent care center exclusively for pets, according to The Charlotte Observer.
Jim Dobies, veterinarian and owner of South Point Pet Hospital in Belmont, NC, saw what’s been happening in the human healthcare field and decided to apply it to his animal world.
“We knew it was time to rise and meet the growing need for quick, easy-access, after-hours care for pets that need comfort and relief,” Dobies said in a statement this week.
The walk in clinic will be named UrgentVet Pet Clinic and will treat only cats and dogs, at least for now. Just like the human counterparts the idea is to provide pet owners with a reliable alternative to conditions that don’t need hospitalization, but are pressing enough to not be conducive to waiting for a vet appointment, such as ear infections and minor wounds.
The urgent care movement began in the United States in the 1970s, but has grown exponentially around the globe since then and now is permeating into the veterinarian industry as well. In the U.S. alone, there are approximately 6,800 urgent care centers, most of which are located in freestanding buildings and only treat people.
One of the reasons they’ve become so popular is for the very reasons Dobies believes his pet model will be successful. According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), almost half (48%) of adult ER patients, who were not sick enough to be admitted to the hospital, said they sought out health care at the ER because their physicians’ offices were closed.
It remains to be seen how much use these new type of pet urgent care centers will see, but it’s interesting to see the expansion of a new and exciting entity make its way into a new field.