This past weekend, I posted a “public statement” about my own (lack of) involvement with Selmer’s Pet Land, a pet store owned and operated by some of my family. In it, I noted that after only a few months of seeing pet patients on site (much the way Banfield stores have set up shop in PetSmart stories today) I decided to set up a free-standing veterinary hospital elsewhere.
I did this in 1996 to build trust…
To eliminate even the perception of a conflict of interest…
To practice veterinary medicine without any (perceived or real) retail entanglements.
But, I didn’t just leave the convenience of a “ready made location.” Since that time, I also chose NOT to follow the well-tread path of so many other veterinarians, running a mini-retail store in their lobbies.
For the same reason I established my new location in 1996, I still don’t sell leashes, endorse or sell dog food, or offer boarding or grooming services.
I am a pet doctor. It’s what I do. It’s ALL I do.
And I didn’t want to muddy the waters for my clients. I didn’t want them (you) to EVER be concerned that I was recommending one thing or the other because it was an additional revenue stream for me. I wanted to keep my treatment plans PURE, free of any possible or perceived “conflict of interest.”
Because trust is paramount when it comes to choosing a veterinarian. In order to keep my pet patients healthy and happy for the long haul, I need my clients (the pet parents) to TRUST not only my expertise, but also my intentions and integrity.