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Walmart plans to open dozens of veterinary clinics

The retailer dives deeper into pet medications through a new website and in-store prescription pickups.

Walmart plans to open dozens of veterinary clinics
Walmart’s new pet prescription website.

Retail giant Walmart is expanding farther into the veterinary channel with the opening of nine more walk-in clinics and the launch of an online pet medication store.

The retailer announced that a corporate partner, Essentials PetCare, will operate wellness clinics inside nine Dallas-area Walmart stores by June 2019. Essentials PetCare opened its first Walmart-based clinic in 2016 in Port Richey, Florida.

Walmart reported that it expects to host as many as 100 veterinary clinics nationwide within a year. The company already partners with PetIQ on about 20 clinics that are branded VetIQ Petcare and staffed by contract veterinarians.

“These clinics offer affordable, high quality and convenient services to save customers as much as 40 to 60 percent on vaccines and minor illness packages and exams,” Walmart Senior Vice President Kieran Shanahan wrote in a news release.

Essentials PetCare founder Douglas Spiker, DVM, said partnering with Walmart made sense.

“Having store locations within 10 miles of nearly 90 percent of the country’s population makes Walmart an ideal venue for our veterinary clinics,” Dr. Spiker said. “Convenient access, as well as affordability, are often cited in industry research as key determinants in why millions of pet dogs and cats in the United States are not receiving even the most basic medical care.”

Walmart also announced the launch of WalmartPetRx.com for the sale of prescription pet medications and said it is working to stock “the top 30 most requested pet meds” at its 4,500 in-store pharmacies.

“By working directly with veterinarians to receive and fill prescriptions, we’re able to save busy pet parents time,” Shanahan wrote.

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