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How Veterinarians Can Create a Niche to Maximize Pet Visits

Posted by Brandon Weaver | Tue, Jul 28, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

The American Pet Products Association predicts U.S. pet owners will spend an estimated $60.59 billion on their pets in 2015. Naturally, cost varies depending on the dog’s breed and size. And even though dogs are more expensive to own the cats, canine pet visits grew 1.9% in 2014.

With more than 100,000 practicing veterinarians across the country, how do you create a niche for your practice to compete for this business and continue to provide quality animal care?

The Alternative Pet Care Service You Can’t Ignore

Veterinary colleges may offer discounted pricing for pet care – enticing to a financially challenged pet owner – that might impact your visits, depending on your location.

But the real alternative pet care service to be aware of is pet ambulances. Just as its name suggests, these emergency vehicles travel to the pet owner’s homes to provide care and are increasingly popping up more and more around the country.


Take Dr. Alexis Newman and Partners and Paws Veterinary Service in the Chicago metropolitan area as an example. Dr. Newman and her associates operate the clinic but also make house calls to perform a variety of pet care services including surgery, dental cleaning, major and minor wound treatment.

She has also taken advantage of working a niche – K-9 units.

What can your niche be?

Become a Veterinary Clinic “Outgrower”

The 2015 AAHA State of the Industry defines an “outgrower” as a veterinary practice that exhibits annual growth of more than 10%. Earning AAHA accreditation can certainly help your practice become an outgrower because the average transaction price is $152 for accredited practices versus only $134 for non-accredited members.


An astounding 81% of pet owners would choose an AAHA-Accredited hospital over a non-accredited hospital. This bodes well for AAHA-compliant veterinarians because the same report shows these practices earn five-times more revenue than the average practice.

Results show the single most important factor differentiating a successful veterinary practice from a failing practice is its focus on strong client relationships. It may sound simplistic and obvious, but the numbers prove this out: 93% of pet owners surveyed reported that having a bond with their veterinary practice is important.

If your vet practice doesn’t have access to a pet ambulance to increase pet care appointments and enhance your customer care reputation, go back to tried and true business principles: Focus on the customer.

But how?

Two steps: explain procedures to pet owners in ways they will understand. And then follow-up after consultations to establish the strong bond your pet owner wants.

Develop Your Own Niche with Multiple Check Payment Service

Medical Emergencies Create Opportunities

Of the estimated total spent on pets in 2015, approximately 25% ($15.73 billion) is spent on veterinary care. For dogs specifically, surgical pet visits are far and away the largest expense pet owners will face – averaging out to $551 annually for dogs and $398 for cats. Some of these veterinary visits are routine check-ups, vaccinations, etc. But emergency pet visit costs can lead pet owners to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars, particularly when it comes to these top ten canine conditions.


When hit with a big-ticket surgery expenditure, pet owners may have to stop and think about how they can afford the procedure. Some pet owners have learned there are three alternative payment resources available to help offset the cost of surgeries: Insurance, breed-specific veterinary care assistance, and crowdfunding.

When push comes to shove, though, pet owners don’t want to worry about meeting eligibility requirements, exclusions, relying on breed organizations, or waiting for their crowdfund to meet its goal. Their dog needs pet care now, which leads us to a vet-and-pet-owner-friendly payment service – Multiple Check.

Multiple Check requires no financing, no credit check, nor is it subject to any insurance exclusions. Pet owners simply write up to four checks for the total veterinary bill. You process the checks from your office and agree on a deposit schedule with the pet owner. Offering Multiple Check payment service to owners is like creating your own niche.

Strengthen the Pet Owner Bond

You have dedicated your career to taking care of animals and preserving their quality of life. Pet owners have invested in their dog for the dog’s entire life. “Treating [pet owners] as a partner” is important to strengthen the bond between vet clinic and pet owner. One way to treat pet owners as partners, and elevate your practice to outgrower status, is offering additional payment services. Pet owners are relieved there is another option, and your payment is guaranteed.

Get the full rundown in this free guide.

hold check, multiple check

Topics: Veterinarians

Written by Brandon Weaver