When Staying Home, is Good for Business

by Berit Mason | October 14, 2020 | Ask Roxie

The Veterinarian Business That Is


You’re at your desk. Fido’s under your desk.

You’re watching T.V. He’s watching T.V.

You’re rummaging in the fridge for a snack, and beady pet eyes areon you.

What does all of this togetherness mean?

You may be noticing more about your pet, regarding his health and appearance.

Dr. Pat Richardson is the owner and operator of the Broadway Oaks Animal Hospital.

“The increase we had in business happened almost immediately, and I was wondering what was causing all of this. That is what it has got to be; increased contact with your friend,” says Richardson.

“We’re doing a lot more dentals, and elective surgeries, and things. Maybe it’s something they’ve been putting off. Or, maybe they feel guilty for not having done it.”

New clients are also coming in because, as I’ve reported, there’s been a big jump in pet adoptions and fostering. 

Being home means people have the time to take on a pet.

“I was so worried that we were going to end up like restaurants,” Richardson sighed. “I have to have medications and supplies. If I had to shut down three weeks to a month, I’d have to shut my doors.”

Clinics need money to operate.

So, if you are home with your cat or dog, here are some behaviors that may indicate a visit to your family animal doctor.

Examine him.

Are there lesions between his toes, or exposed skin on his belly?

San Antonio is among the top ten cities in the country when it comes to allergies.

“Dogs chew and lick with allergies. I see all of my allergic patients coming in with ear infections and skin infections,” says Richardson. You don’t want those.

“Vomiting, not wanting to eat, diarrhea, those types of abnormal things.”

Odd gastrointestinal symptoms are warnings that something’s amiss.

“If he is limping, or messing with something, bring him down to the doctor. Anything that they are doing that is out of their normal routine,” is cause for concern, says Dr. Richardson.


Pets look to their owners for love and care.

We need your help.

But people benefit from this closer contact. 

Petting a dog lowers blood pressure, and pets improve our mood.

Many pet owners talk to their therapists, I mean, pets. 

One reason is: we don’t judge. 

You gained ten pounds.? We won’t say a word.

Spent the afternoon gossiping about a neighbor?

We won’t tell!

Plus, making our meals, walking us, and our other requirements give your day structure. For single people, we are that warm body to protect against loneliness and isolation.

And, of course, we are the perfect kid companion for kids being home-schooled.

The Broadway Oaks Animal Hospital has had its own brush with COVID-19, which required a staffer to be quarantined.

It’s not a global pandemic, for nothing. 

“You touch that gas nozzle, and you get enough virus, to get it!” says Richardson.

His background in epidemiology means he pays close attention to the news.

“Like I told everybody from the very start, it only takes one person.”

No one crowds into the vet clinic anymore, a birdcage on one knee, a big dog on the ground, beside you.

Everything is curbside and will be for the foreseeable future.

“People like it, and we like it, pretty well, too,” says the vet. So, business is good, at least for one ’09 pet clinic.

Until next month!

Woof, woof!


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Berit Mason was born in Greenwich Village, New York, the daughter of a Random House author. Her mother was an artist from Norway. She grew up abroad, before her family settled in San Antonio, where she attended St. Mary’s Hall, and Alamo Heights schools. She attended Mary Baldwin College, graduating from Austin College, in Sherman, Texas, with a B.A. in Political Science. She interned at CNN Washington, covering the US Supreme Court, and was a TV anchor and reporter in Waco, and in San Angelo. Berit was a radio reporter for Texas Public Radio and WOAI 1200 AM, and she was a select RIAS Berlin Commission German American Exchange Journalist. Berit is a freelance journalist, working for NPR, has written for the San Antonio Business Journal, “SA Scene”, now writing for “78209” and “SA Woman”.
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