• NAVC Brands

For Petco, California veterinary clinic is No. 100

The pet store chain partners with Thrive Affordable Vet Care, which opened the first Petco-affiliated clinic in 2017.

The newest Thrive Affordable Vet Care is at a Petco store in Encinitas, California.

Petco’s 100th in-store veterinary hospital has opened in suburban San Diego, not far from the national retailer’s headquarters.

The new clinic is operated by Thrive Affordable Vet Care, whose hospital in Aldine, Texas, was Petco’s first. The suburban Houston clinic opened in October 2017 as part of Petco’s expansion into veterinary medicine.

Petco had about half as many in-store clinics a year ago. The hospital count has grown through partnerships with Thrive and three other networks: Global Veterinary Partners, VetnCare and Vetco Total Care.

“We’re especially proud to continue expansion during this time, as vet care is in higher demand than ever,” said Mike Nuzzo, Petco’s CFO and chief operating officer. “The pandemic has caused a spike in adoption and fostering rates, and pet ownership is projected to increase by roughly 4% this year.”

The new Encinitas, California, clinic is full service and open seven days a week. Job postings on the Thrive website include those for veterinarians, veterinary technicians and experienced veterinary assistants.

Petco intends to open more clinics, said director of veterinary medicine Whitney Miller, DVM, MBA, DACVPM.

“Our ultimate goal with rapid veterinary expansion is to provide more opportunities for pet parents to establish and maintain a lifelong relationship with their veterinarian,” Dr. Miller said. “Continuously expanding our network and setting new growth goals keeps us on track to make this possible for pets and pet parents on a broad scale.”

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