Pet owners push back on prices

Pet owners push back on prices

National survey gauges DVM, pet owner attitudes on economy, pricing, wellness
Sep 01, 2011

NATIONAL REPORT — Nearly 40 percent of appointments are unfilled at most veterinary practices, according to a recent survey.

Just as concerning, 51 percent of veterinarians say caseload is down over a two-year period. Consumers are pushing back, even harder, on price.

Table 1: Revenue by the numbers
The survey results, according to Brakke Consulting's John Volk, signal long-term economic problems for the market that need to be addressed—soon.

The second phase of the Bayer Veterinary Care Usage Survey, a collaborative project from the National Commission of Veterinary Economic Issues (NCVEI), Brakke Consulting and Bayer Animal Health, probed veterinarians' mindsets about veterinary care and trends affecting it. Results were compared with consumer responses gathered during the first phase of this project.

Table 2: Percentage of available appointments filled each week
The groups worked with Ipsos-Forward Research, Kansas State University, Southern Methodist University and Texas Christian University to analyze and compare data points.

The findings, Volk says, show multiple disconnects as it relates to veterinarian and consumer perceptions about prices, wellness and client education on veterinary care.