3 must-have retail items for your hospital

3 must-have retail items for your hospital

Three managers share retail items their veterinary hospitals can’t live without. Some are big sellers, some the veterinarians just love, and some just fit so perfectly into services they can’t say "no."
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Apr 09, 2018
By dvm360.com staff

Shopper Kitten wants to shop your hospital for items your veterinarians and team recommend to caring clients. Don't break Shopper Kitten's heart. (Shutterstock.com)

1. Feliway
2. Fortiflora
3. Oravet chews

“All low-stress or Fear Free products like Feliway or Stress Away tablets are super popular. Also, Fortiflora—my dog needs it every day. And one of our doctors went to a dermatology seminar last year in Hawaii where the specialists swore by it to help with skin issues, even though it’s a probiotic for the gut.

“We also sell a lot of the OraVet chews. Clients love to give their pups treats, and that one’s good to help with oral health too.

“But honestly, every hospital is different, and every doctor has their go-to products. The true key is making sure the front staff is trained on each product.”

— Dee Allen, RVT, CVPM
Practice manager
Healthy Pet Hospital & Grooming
Orange, California

1. Puzzle toys
2. Puzzle feeders
3. HelpEm’Up Harnesses

“My answer is to carry the things that you're sending clients elsewhere to purchase—especially if there’s a specific reason you endorse that product over similar items. It's important to show clients the product and talk about it before sending them off to a pet store or the internet abyss. The convenience of purchasing at the time of a recommendation will improve compliance.

“My personal favorites are behavior and enrichment items, such as puzzle toys and toys you can use for feeding.

“I also think every practice needs to carry the HelpEm’Up Harnesses. They’re fantastic for older or injured dogs, and pet owners swear by them.

— Kelly Capasso (read more here)
Practice manager
Bigger Road Veterinary Clinic
Kettering and Springboro, Ohio

1. Dog treats, chews and toys
2. HelpEm’Up Harnesses
3. Whatever the DVMs rave about to clients

“In terms of functional benefit and supporting our services, I agree with Kelly about the HelpEm’Up Harnesses as well as puzzles and feeder toys. I’d add no-pull harness designs that aren’t commonly available in pet stores, but only if a particular clinic's staff is knowledgeable and talking about them.

“We brought in a line of high-quality dog coats, Foggy Mountain, that aren’t sold in local stores specifically to support our underwater treadmill business, because in the winter we don't like dogs leaving the clinic damp without protection.

“I will say that the inventory investment for these retail categories is high, and it takes a long time for them to be individually profitable. But they do complement our services and increase client compliance and satisfaction.

“It’s only worth it if staff—especially doctors—really believe in the products and are talking about them in appointments. There are a lot of products we have brought in because 'wouldn't it be nice if we had this?' and subsequently discontinued because the staff buy-in wasn't there.

“We do the most volume in dog treats, chews and toys—things clients can easily grab on the way out or while waiting in the lobby that are at a price point they don't have to think a lot about. We only carry treats that are compatible with common allergy and GI diets, and we only carry chews that are doctor-approved.

“Our highest-volume individual SKUs are bully sticks. Doctors recommend them as a chew for safety reasons, and we price them more aggressively than the pet stores to improve compliance.”

— Jesse Dorland
Business manager
Bigger Road Veterinary Clinic
Kettering and Springboro, Ohio