By Sarah Reicks
QUAD-CITY BUSINESS JOURNAL – September, 2005
Bev Allen’s cat, Oliver, appeared healthy when she took him to the veterinarian for a check-up, but during the visit he was diagnosed with kidney problems.
To address what she discovered as a gap in preventative animal medicine, Allen formed the company Lily&Me Inc. to market her invention, ThePetCheckup, a health screen that enables pet guardians to monitor their pets’ health between regular veterinary visits.
“Pet guardians are often shocked when they suddenly discover that their animal is in the midst of a serious health challenge,” says Allen, who is president of the Fairfield, Iowa-based company.
“We wanted to give people an easy, affordable tool they could use at home to find a potential problem before it becomes a serious ailment.”
ThePetCheckup helps people test for ailments such as kidney and liver disease, diabetes, bacterial infections, and hepatitis.
To perform the test, you combine a few drops of the pet’s urine with a test strip, which is made from the same materials as those found in veterinary offices, Allen says. You then compare the results with a chart, alerting their veterinarian if there are abnormal results.
Allen says ThePetCheckup can detect imbalances so that the animal can receive veterinary care at an early stage of illness, when treatment often is easier and more effective.
A new concept
Dr. Robert Wiegert, DVM, a Fairfield-based veterinarian, decided to serve as technical advisor during Allen’s creation of ThePetCheckup after he saw first-hand several animals who had benefitted from the product.
“When conditions are detected early enough, many of them are correctable … Unfortunately, by the time we see the animal, the condition is usually advanced and more difficult to treat,” Wiegert wrote as part of ThePetCheckup’s promotional materials.
“ThePetCheckup gives your veterinarian a baseline of information — a starting point — to locate and treat many potential problems that can affect the health of your dogs and cats,” he added.
Because ThePetCheckup is an original invention, customers must be educated about the product first, Allen cautions.
“This product is not something people are looking for in the market because it’s a new concept,” she says. “There’s an education component. Our challenge is how to get people to hear about the product and know that it’s out there now.”
Those who have discovered the product have responded with a lot of feedback, according to Allen.
“We get a lot of ‘thank you’s’ for getting the product out there,” she says.
TO LEARN MORE
For more information about ThePetCheckup, call toll-free (800) 833-8528 or visit www.thepetcheckup.com.
It is sold locally (in the Quad Cities) at the following retail locations:
* Happy Dog Bakery, 1608 7th St., Moline, (309) 764-0990
* Pet Pals, 2134 W. River Dr., Davenport, (563) 324-4446
* K-9 Child, 3030 Hickory Grove Road, Davenport, (563) 386-1244
Sarah Reicks can be contacted at (563) 383-2282 or firstname.lastname@example.org