After launching EduPet, an education centre for pet owners and professionals, Dutch pet food company Prins Petfoods in Veenendaal has opened EduVet, a veterinary training center.
EduVet brings together several veterinary services that reinforce each other, such as:
- Training for veterinarians. For almost and recently graduated veterinarians, EduVet offers a special training program to optimize the transition from university to practice and to gain practical skills with both animals and people. In addition, EduVet organizes various forms of additional education for all veterinarians.
- Primary veterinary care for companion animals, second opinions and low cost health care. EduVet is a veterinary clinic that combines high quality veterinary care with education. That makes veterinary health care also affordable for pet owners with a limited budget. It is not that the treatments and products at EduVet are cheaper, but the costs for pet owners with a limited budget can be shared by multiple parties: not only the owner, but also the students of the training centre and sometimes a beneficiary as well.
- Online advice and pharmacy for companion animals. Pet owners can ask EduVet staff for online advice. In line with this, EduVet also offers an online pharmacy service for companion animals. During the consultations at the centre, plenty of time is scheduled for education and advice.
The purpose of EduVet
The core team of EduVet includes veterinarian Atjo Westerhuis and veterinary technicians Pauline Westerhuis and Eveline Meijer. In addition there is a “plus team,” a team consisting of highly experienced specialists that are experts in their fields such as sports medicine and rehabilitation, dentistry, acupuncture and herbal medicine. For Prins Petfoods, the opening of EduVet is a new step in sharing knowledge and experience, with animal welfare always being the top priority. Various parties such as pet shops and veterinarians can work together through both the EduPet education centre and the EduVet veterinary training centre.
Pet owners and vets differ in opinions on pet food
EduVet's mission of collaboration and sharing knowledge between specialists and pet owners may be particularly pertinent in the current pet food industry. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP)’s annual survey revealed that in 2017 pet owners and veterinarians hold different opinions on various dog and cat food trends, such as grain-free, organic and raw pet foods.
Pet owners and veterinarians held somewhat different opinions about organic dog and cat foods, with many pet owners being unsure on the issue. Organic pet food was perceived as “healthier” by 39 percent of pet owners, down from 43 percent in 2016, while 40 percent reported “I don’t know.” Twenty-six percent of veterinary professionals categorized organic pet foods as “healthier,” up from 15 percent in 2016. Seventeen percent of veterinary professionals replied, “I don’t know” when it comes to organic pet foods being “healthier” for pets.