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 32,100 veterinary practices in the US provide preventative, medical, and surgical care for a wide variety of animals. Most veterinary practices are small, independent operations – 89% have a single location, and 83% 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 14-15 workers, and generates $1.7 million in annual revenue.

    • The veterinary care industry consists of 32,100 companies that employ 440,900 workers and generate $57 billion annually.
    • Most veterinary practices are small, independent operations - 89% have a single location, and 83% have fewer than 20 workers. Most practices are private practices and owned by a licensed veterinarian.
    • About 75% of vets provide care primarily for companion animals; 10.5% care for food animals; and 5.6% care for horses.
    • Large companies include VCA, Antech, and Banfield Pet Hospitals (Medical Management International) through PetSmart.
                                  Industry Forecast
                                  Veterinary Practices Industry Growth
                                  Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                  Recent Developments

                                  Apr 1, 2023 - Tech Advances to Improve Telehealth
                                  • Technology advances will help more veterinary practices incorporate telehealth to deliver a better client experience, according to the American Animal Hospital Association. Many veterinarians jumped into telehealth during the pandemic crisis without adequate preparation, which did not translate into widespread use. Still, telehealth can be an essential tool for clinics, according to Jess Trimble, the chief veterinary officer at Anipanion and a contributor to industry telehealth guidelines. She said, “The technology will start to catch up, we’ll have more veterinarians who are comfortable with it, and the platforms will be ready to support all those clinics.” Trimble mentioned new technology available to improve telehealth sessions such as AI facial recognition tools for cats that indicate if they are in pain and new pet collars that can relay vital signs, including temperature, pulse, and respiration.
                                  • A new report by Brakke Consulting found that veterinary practice revenue grew 5.2% year over year in 2022, while visits fell by 3.1%, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. The revenue growth can be attributed to a wider variety of services and increased prices. The report contains an analysis of monthly surveys and industry sources including the AVMA and the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association. During the COVID-19 era, pet owners were more inclined to spend on their pets as many consumers were flush with cash because of government subsidies and did not have a lot of other discretionary expenses coming out of the budget. As life returned to normal with more expenses, veterinary practices have seen weaker revenue growth in 2022 compared with 2021. The amount of business coming in from new patients in 2022 was down about 10% overall. About a third of the practices surveyed for the report indicated they were busier in 2022 than in 2021, with the other practices saying they were as busy or less busy as the previous year. Labor shortages continue to be an issue for many practices. More than half of practices reported vacancies for one or more veterinaries and 63% had roughly three open positions for veterinary technicians.
                                  • Vet practices need to incorporate better tech tools, staffing models, and training programs to improve productivity, according to a new study by IDEXX Laboratories in Veterinary Practice News. Titled “Finding the Time: Empowering Veterinary Teams to Get the Most Out of Every Day,” the study incorporated responses from 786 survey participants, along with clinical observations and financial evaluations. It also introduced a new data-driven “Practice Productivity Index.” One tactic to improve productivity is incorporating software applications and platforms that integrate well with the practice information management system (PIMS). The study suggests adopting an appropriate staffing model, empowering technicians to support more complex tasks, and improving staff and patient flow within the physical layout of a clinic. Adopting a staff training program of continuous learning and development can also help enhance teamwork.
                                  • Inflation is causing pet owners to cut back on pet spending, including pet services and treats, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. In February, a survey of 1,000 pet owners by consumer-insights firm Zappi for the Wall Street Journal found that half actively took steps to reduce pet-care costs in the past year. About a quarter skipped or delayed a pet’s veterinary visit or routine medicine to save money. Nearly half of pet owners opted for at-home grooming instead of paying a professional. About 10% said they had to give a pet away due to rising costs. Per the article, Yelp reported that interest in businesses in the pet boarding, grooming, walking, and services spaces fell more than 20% between peak in June 2021 and June 2022, bringing it more in line with pre-pandemic spending.
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