Small-animal veterinary medicine today and the U.S. economy (Proceedings)
Congratulations! You are part of a very vibrant, healthy and fast growing industry. Pet owners spend more on their pets than on jewelry, candy, or toys. It is BIG BUSINESS!
In the last decade, pet spending has doubled. The pet population has not doubled, but pet owners spend more on each pet. The point of economic euthanasia has tripled in the last decade. The veterinary industry is growing more than twice as fast as the overall economy. Interestingly – and unfortunately – only one out of four dollars spent on a pet goes through a veterinary clinic. Three of four dollars are spent elsewhere. Huge conglomerates (Wal-Mart, Target, Costco, etc.) have noted the growth in pet spending, and have entered the pet product and service arena.
The small animal veterinary profession has proven to be economically resilient – refusing to participate in recessions for the last 70 years. During the past six recessions, while the overall economy shrank 0.4% annually, small animal practices gained 4.8% annually.Veterinarians enjoy an incredible public image. In a CNN/Gallup poll on honesty, ethics and integrity, veterinarians tied for second place.
In my anecdotal experience, successful veterinarians consistently demonstrate:
This session will also explore the nature of costs in veterinary medicine, and the implications of being in a fixed cost business.
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