The pet boom of 2020–2021 had a profound impact on the veterinary industry, and its effects continue to be felt today in 2023.
As the industry continues to adapt to these changes, veterinary practices need to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies to remain competitive and provide the best possible care to their patients.
From an expected long-term influx of patients to the adoption of digital pet care and communication technology, let’s take a look at the changes sparked by the pet boom, and what you should focus on to stay competitive.
1. Millennials Are Now Your Biggest Client Base
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), nearly 23 million American households — that’s one in five — added a furry friend to their family during the pandemic.
Of these, 32% are millennials, presenting a shift away from the boomer generation of pet-owning.
Millennials, as a generation, are known to prioritize the well-being of their pets and are willing to spend more on them than previous generations. This includes providing high-quality food, veterinary care, and even pet insurance — the total number of pets insured in the U.S. at year-end 2021 was 3.9 million, a 28 percent increase since 2020.
Additionally, they are more likely to seek out pet products and services that align with their values, such as environmentally-friendly products and those that support animal welfare organizations.
Emphasizing these aspects of your practice, such as preventive medicine, nutrition, and a holistic approach to pet health, can help you attract and retain this demographic.
2. Clients Want Digital Pet Care and Communication
In the past, older generations of pet owners did not have access to robust digital communications from their veterinarians. Making appointments by phone, faxing medical records, and receiving appointment cards in the mail have been the industry norm until recently.
Millennials, however, not only want digital communications, they expect them. With 76% preferring texting over any other communication, new communication solutions for veterinarians are a must.
On top of more pet owners seeking digital pet care and communication, such as telemedicine and online appointment scheduling, veterinary practices should also invest in new technology to improve the quality of care they provide. These also include equipment such as digital X-ray machines and ultrasound devices.
Remember, today’s pet owners seek the best services for their animal family members.
3. More Emphasis on Routine and Preventative Care
On top of modern communication solutions for veterinarians, catering to today’s pet owners also means adjusting the types of services that veterinary practices offer.
Trends show a rise in requests for preventive care, such as vaccinations and wellness exams, and decreased demand for emergency and specialty care.
Practices should expand their services to include offers like veterinary wellness plans that help clients afford routine care for their pets. This establishes you as a go-to destination for comprehensive pet care and builds a loyal client base.
It’s also important to prioritize staff training in communication skills to ensure clients feel heard and valued while implementing digital pet care and communication to quicken processes.
Stay On Top Of the Changes
With clinics and hospitals understaffed in the face of more pet healthcare demand than ever, veterinarians need as much support as they can get to run their practices without burning out.
Streamlining communications is a must to keep up, and an effective digital pet care communication and management system like Onward Vet can offload much of the logistical burden.
How is your practice handling the effects of the pet boom? Schedule a demo today to see how Onward Vet can help.
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