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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.

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Brockman, Beverly K. & Taylor, Valerie A. & Brockman, Christopher M., 2008. "The price of unconditional love: Consumer decision making for high-dollar veterinary care," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 61(5), pages 397-405, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:61:y:2008:i:5:p:397-405
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    Cited by:

    1. Syrjälä, Henna, 2016. "Turning point of transformation: Consumer communities, identity projects and becoming a serious dog hobbyist," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 177-190.
    2. 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.
    3. Williams, Angelica & Coble, Keith H. & Williams, Brian & Dicks, Michael & Knippenberg, Ross, 2016. "Consumer Preferences for Pet Health Insurance," 2016 Annual Meeting, February 6-9, 2016, San Antonio, Texas 230144, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.

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