How to Streamline Your Pets' Care
Between feeding, walking, grooming, and loading up on supplies, tending to your menagerie can feel like a full-time job. It’s no surprise, then, that companies offering full-service pet care are popping up across the country.
“We started primarily as a dog-walking operation, and we quickly expanded our services into grooming, veterinary care, and training,” says Throw Me A Bone co-founder Adam Light. In addition to offering in-home services throughout New York City, the company is on-site in a half dozen luxury residential developments. Even if you don’t live in a fancy New York condo, there are plenty of strategies to make it easier to care for your furry friends.
Expand Your Pack
Consider outside help. If you’re hiring someone, ask questions first, says Light: How long have they been in business? How do they train their staff? Can they use different types of harnesses for dogs? Do they know how to administer medication? “You want to make sure whoever is coming into your home when you’re not there is trustworthy and will treat your pet as if it were theirs,” says Light. “It’s peace of mind.”
Choose One-Stop Shopping
Throw Me A Bone is at the high end of one-stop pet care, to be sure. But, Light notes, demand for full-service care is a trend all across the country, with national retailers such as Petco expanding to offer in-store obedience training, grooming and veterinary services, doggy day care, and boarding.
You can have everything from food and supplements to collars, litter, and beds brought to your door, thanks to amazon.com, chewy.com, Petco, and PetSmart. Upscale dog-meal delivery services such as Ollie and The Farmer’s Dog—touted as the Blue Apron of dog food—deliver customized fresh fare.
Opt for Mobile Services
Mobile pet grooming makes it easier to keep Fluffy and Fido looking spiffy, and mobile veterinarians pay house calls to save the time and stress of taking pets to the vet for routine care.
Enlist Your Vet to Go Digital
Streamlining pets’ care might hit a roadblock at the vet’s office. “Many vets still have a very 20th-century approach, doing most of their business by phone,” says Mark Olcott, DVM, cofounder of VitusVet, an electronic veterinary health records platform.
That’s a hassle for busy clients and overburdened staff who, he notes, spend 40% of their time fielding calls with requests that could be automated, such as scheduling appointments. With VitusVet’s free smartphone app, owners can schedule treatments, request refills, get reminders, and even file insurance claims. Most importantly, they have access to pets’ medical records at all times, which can literally be a lifesaver when seeking emergency care after hours or out of town.