Eighty percent of small-animal veterinary clinics are continuing to grow, despite the economic climate.
Kansas City, Mo.
-- Eighty percent of small-animal veterinary clinics are continuing to grow, despite the current economic climate. That growth may only be 3 to 5 percent, but it's still better than other professions, says Fritz Wood, CPA, CFP, a noted veterinary accountant.
Wood is slated to talk about this topic during a presentation at CVC Kansas City titled “Surviving the worst economy since the Great Depression” today. “While veterinarians are not recession proof, they are certainly recession resistant,” he says. “I don't talk to many people singing the blues.”
That's due in large part to the strong human-animal bond, which shows no signs of weakening. “People are cutting back on their own expenditures in order to provide for their pets,” he says. Eighty to 85 percent of people say they have no inclination to spend less on their pets, according to the annual American Pet Products Association (APPA) survey this year. In fact, 5 percent of the survey's respondents indicate they will spend more on their pets this year.
So, where are pet owners cutting back? It isn't on veterinary care. Instead, high-end boarding facilities, pet sitting, daycare, doggie fashion and accessories are taking the hit.
In order to grow in a down economy, Wood explains, practices need to step up vigilance when it comes to wellness reminders and compliance and make sure the client is getting everything they need before they leave.
“It's not about needing every new client in the four-county area,” he says. “It's about taking better care of the people you already have as clients.”
While clinics in particularly hard-hit areas may be down, overall, veterinarians should be hopeful about the economic future, Wood adds.