Veterinary Practices

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 27,000 veterinary practices in the US provide preventative, medical, and surgical care for a wide variety of animals. Most veterinary practices are small, independent operations – 86% have a single location, and 85% have fewer than 20 workers. Most practices are private practices and are owned by a licensed veterinarian. Some vets focus on large animals and livestock and work at the client's location.

High Capital Costs

Diagnostic equipment and full laboratory set-ups can require a significant investment.

Shortage of Food Animal Veterinarians

While the number of veterinary school graduates grows at a steady rate, a shrinking percentage of vets choose to specialize in the care of animals used as livestock.

Industry size & Structure

A typical veterinary practice operates out of a single location, employs about 17 workers, and generates about $2 million in annual revenue.

    • The veterinary care industry consists of 27,000 practices that employ 463,000 workers and generate $59 billion annually.
    • Most veterinary practices are small, independent operations - 86% have a single location, and 85% have fewer than 20 workers. Most practices are private practices and owned by a licensed veterinarian.
    • About 70% of vets provide care primarily for companion animals; 5% operate a mixed practice; 4% care for food animals; and 4% care for horses.
    • Large companies include Mars Veterinary Health (VCA, Banfield Pet Hospitals, BluePearl), Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists, and Antech.
                                  Industry Forecast
                                  Veterinary Practices Industry Growth
                                  Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                  Recent Developments

                                  Jul 11, 2024 - Vet Practices Monitor Proposed Ban of Non-Compete Agreements
                                  • Veterinary practices are monitoring a proposed ban by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on most non-compete agreements, which have historically been incorporated into veterinarian contracts to prevent them from leaving a practice and taking their clients with them, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). The ban is scheduled to go into effect in September 2024. Vet practices may want to review contracts of existing employees and new hires to become familiar with who is covered by non-compete agreements and delay any changes until the outcome of the ban is known, per the AVMA. A Texas federal district court issued a preliminary injunction in July 2024 preventing the FTC from enforcing its ban. According to the National Law Review, the injunction applies only to a Texas-based tax law firm and a group of business associations; legal challenges to the ban are pending in other US courts.
                                  • Veterinary practice revenues were up almost 2% in the past 12 months ending in June 2024, while visits were down nearly 4%, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Veterinary Industry Tracker. By category, services revenue declined 2.2% year over year in early July 2024, while product revenue fell 5.1%. The months of parasiticide protection dispensed fell year over year for both heartworm and flea/tick protection, down 13.3% and 12.7%, respectively. States with the highest revenue growth year over year were New Mexico (9.6%), New York (7.5%), Colorado (7.2%), New Hampshire (6.6%), West Virginia (6.6%), and North Carolina (6.5%).
                                  • Florida is the latest state to allow remote veterinary care without the need for an initial in-person visit, according to VIN News. The law went into effect in July 2024. Florida joins about a half dozen states that have updated their laws in recent years to ease restrictions on veterinary telemedicine. The Florida law allows the establishment of veterinarian-client-patient relationships through veterinarians physically examining patients remotely using real-time audiovisual equipment. Veterinarians who offer remote appointment services in Florida are required to have a state license. To address concerns from the Florida Veterinary Medical Association, the new regulations require an in-person exam for prescriptions of heartworm medications, off-label drugs, and compounded medications. Other states that have loosened their regulations for remote vet exams include Arizona, California, Idaho, New Jersey, Vermont, and Virginia.
                                  • Noise levels related to stainless steel kenneling can have a detrimental effect on patient health, according to a survey of 650 veterinary professionals in clinics with stainless steel kennels by CASCO Pet reported in Veterinary Practice News. Three-quarters of respondents said excessive noise was a significant challenge with using stainless steel cages, and 85% said noise reduction was a top priority in their clinic. Nearly 90% reported seeing patient anxiety, and almost a quarter said they had seen instances of animal injury related to noise levels. The noise can also affect staff members. More than half of the respondents who reported that excessive noise was a challenge said it resulted in staff stress, and 20% said they had suffered an injury due to noise challenges. Excessive noise from barking dogs and noisy kennels can be a problem in veterinary practices. The Centers for Disease Control recommends hearing protection for veterinary staff members and measurement of noise exposures in the clinic and kennel area to determine which areas exceed recommended levels. Veterinary practices may also consider other quieter materials for kennels.
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