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Lower your veterinary practice's inflation stress levels

By Zachary Melton

Why investing in technology is the right move

Female veterinarian looking at tablet
With "inflation panic" setting in, it's more imperative than ever for companion veterinary practices to adjust their businesses to a more budget-conscious model. But significantly raising prices to achieve this is an unwise move in the current climate. You may scare your clients away and end up with less revenue in the long run.

When recession worries set in, take a step back and don't panic. Consider investing in key technological upgrades that can lower your costs and increase your long-term revenue. Small software tweaks can keep your revenue stream growing during inflationary times. Tools like preventive care plans and robust client communication systems can actually improve your bottom line. And if you still need to increase your prices a little, you can do so less drastically and avoid shocking your clients.

Now is the ideal time to make technological changes

Times of inflationary stress are perfect for making changes within your business model. When your practice is busy and overwhelmed, it can make implementing change difficult. But if you make changes when invoices and patient visits are down a bit, your staff has time to learn your new systems and implement them correctly.

But that's not the only benefit these technological investments can offer. You can also build client loyalty by proactively finding ways to ease their burden during tough times. You can help them pay for treatment they otherwise can't afford. And this can pay off in the long run.
On top of all of that, when the economy starts taking off again, you can take advantage of it immediately. Otherwise, you'll be trying to play catchup and your competition will be far ahead of you.

So which technologies are best to implement right now? Here's a look.

Set up a reliable income stream with preventive care plans

Start out by looking into preventive care plans that can help your clients space out their costs across 12 months rather than paying everything at once. According to a recent survey by, 46 percent of pet owners have had to drop or delay veterinary treatments due to costs, and 28 percent have cut down on how often they visit their veterinarian.1

With a good preventive care system, you can address all these concerns upfront. Without a preventive care plan, your clients may only choose the bare necessities for their pets during economically tough times. But with your plan, they can spread out the cost of care across 12 months. This means that any increased prices you end up having to implement won't hurt as badly, and pets still get the best care possible.

Just remember: When you first implement preventive care plans, you may feel like your revenue is actually decreasing. And though this is technically true, it's only true in the short term. For example, one of your clients might normally pay $300 in March for a wellness visit. Instead, they're just paying their monthly cost of $90 when they visit. But over the course of 12 months, you could end up getting more business from them overall because they're bringing their pets in more regularly. They're also more likely to buy preventive medications from you rather than looking for cheaper online sources.

So, in the long run, you'll find that your revenue actually increases as you add more patients to your plan. Additionally, the pet owner might bring their pet in more frequently, creating opportunities for more touchpoints and the chance to diagnose ailments earlier.


Increase compliance with client communications

Now is also a good time to invest in a robust marketing communications system, for a number of reasons.

1. Consolidating communications under one platform can save you money
When veterinary practices added new services during the pandemic, many of them did so in a piecemeal way. They may have gotten texting set up through one platform, adopted telehealth in a different platform, and set up email reminders through yet another platform. If that's you, this is a good time to consolidate your marketing platforms under one umbrella. Doing so will likely cut your total costs significantly while letting you upgrade to a more robust system than what you used before.

And guess what? One-third of veterinary professionals told the American Veterinary Medical Association they had debated leaving their current position because of a lack of technology.3
Considering the high costs of replacing an existing employee, doubling down on technology investments seems like a smart choice.

2. A robust marketing system can improve client satisfaction
Communicating regularly with your clients through different modes, like email, text, and even voicemail, can allow you to reach everyone in the way they prefer. The American Pet Products Association survey of pet owners found that 52 percent would prefer to get appointment reminders by text; however only 25 percent said their clinic did this.4

A robust communications system can also help with client compliance. Research  from Frontiers in Veterinary Science showed 51 percent of pet owners would like to get their appointment reminders by text; however, only 25 percent reported their veterinary practice currently did this.5 If pet owners are more likely to see these confirmations, they are more likely to keep the appointment, thus boosting compliance.

3. What to look for in a communications marketing platform
When choosing a marketing communications platform, make sure you find one that offers top-notch operational efficiency. For example, if you write an email about senior pets, you should have no difficulty requesting that it's sent only to clients who match that particular demographic.

Your platform should also have a robust retention calendar that allows you to easily determine if a client has more than one pet who needs yearly wellness visits. Then the system can automatically remind them that they might want to schedule all their pets at once.

The system should also accommodate pet owners who are struggling financially. If their pet needs several procedures but your client can only afford one, you should have no trouble scheduling reminder messages within your marketing platform for the rest of the services, helping spread the appointments out over the course of several months.

Your technology can help your clients stay loyal despite inflationary pressures

As you can see, there are quite a few ways that technological investments during a recession can help both your practice and your clients. And now truly is the right time to make these changes. Ohio State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, for example, is changing its entire curriculum to help better prepare veterinarians for providing a spectrum of care based on their clients' economic needs. With providers shifting to finding ways to help their clients economically, you will want to make sure your team can meet your clients where they are.

So, when you're thinking about inflationary pressure, take a deep breath. Don't panic. Instead, do a deep dive into the vendors you're using now. Before you raise prices, consider how technological tweaks might actually help both you and your clients. Preventive care plans and robust communications systems are great places to start.


  1. Velez, L. How inflation is impacting U.S. pet owners. 27 Feb 2023. Accessed 9 May 2023. Available at
  2.  Melton, Z. [Presentation] MWI EasyCare Program. Western Veterinary Congress. Las Vegas. March 2002.
  3. Kogan, L, et. al. Factors that impact recruitment and retention of veterinarians in emergency practice. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 13 Oct 2022. Accessed 9 May 2023. Available at:
  4.  McKinney, M. Updates and appointment reminders? Text, please! DVM360. 8 May 2019. Accessed 9 May 2023. Available at
  5. Kogan, L, et al. Medical Updates and Appointment Confirmations: Pet Owners' Perceptions of Current Practices and Preferences. Frontiers in Veterinary Science. 20 Mar 2019. Accessed 9 May 2023. Available at:



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