Breaking down barriers: Understanding the challenges of accessibility in obtaining veterinary care

Pets are important family members for many of America’s pet-owning households. It is estimated that 29 million dogs and cats live with families that participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Due to the circumstances of these families, it is likely that most of these pets have limited access to veterinary care, including behavioral support. During this plenary session, we’ll discuss the results of a national study which aimed to understand more about the financial, geographical, educational, and cultural barriers, as well as physical limitations of the pet owner and transportation difficulties, that impact owners’ ability to access care for their pets. We’ll also discuss current practices among veterinary care providers that are delivering care to these underserved pet owners.