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The price of unconditional love: Consumer decision making for high-dollar veterinary care

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  • Brockman, Beverly K.
  • Taylor, Valerie A.
  • Brockman, Christopher M.
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    Abstract

    Animal companions play an increasingly important role in consumers' lives, and therefore many pets receive acceptance and treatment as members of the family. As the human-animal bond increases, so does consumer spending on pets, including that on high-dollar veterinary care. Unlike human health care, however, consumers must directly pay for the majority of high-dollar veterinary care. When an animal companion is ill, the consumer faces a stressful decision of whether even to engage in the treatment, along with the hardship of paying for it. Despite a rudimentary understanding of the factors relevant in the decision-making process regarding high-dollar veterinary care, knowledge is lacking about this often heart-wrenching choice. Using a depth-interview method, this study examines the decision-making process consumers go through when facing expensive medical treatment for their pets. The research results in an expansion of three a priori themes and the discovery and discussion of three factors that influence consumer decisions about veterinary care across all three themes.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V7S-4PDSYV1-1/1/04af9196d2ea03569ad4e38204329d7e
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Business Research.

    Volume (Year): 61 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 5 (May)
    Pages: 397-405

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:61:y:2008:i:5:p:397-405

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbusres

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    Cited by:
    1. Schiffman, Leon G. & Cohn, Deborah Y., 2009. "Are they playing by the same rules? A consumer gifting classification of marital dyads," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(11), pages 1054-1062, November.

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