Every marketer understands the importance of knowing what we call “pain points” that our prospects wrestle with in their business life. For those who market to veterinarians, here is some insight written by a retired veterinary practice owner.

Veterinary medicine has experienced tumultuous changes over the past two decades, and pain points for practitioners have expanded and deepened along with those changes. During the past four or five decades, attitudes of pet owners have undergone quite a metamorphosis, too. You guessed it, those changes affect pain points as well.


AVMA.org photo

5 pain points: Some familiar, some new

  1. Client compliance

While not a new challenge, client compliance remains an embedded stressor for veterinarians.

Just ask yourself, “How often do I finish medications prescribed for my pet, and return on time for the recommended follow-up appointment?”

Hopefully,  you are not like some clients who fail to follow through and then blame the practice when the outcome is less than expected.

But, you’d be wise to realize what a nagging challenge client compliance is for practicing veterinarians.

2) Practice growth

Every business depends on growth for survival. It’s critical for small businesses. Veterinary practices are small businesses.

Of course, the need for growth includes measurements like revenue, client and pet numbers, and pet visits per year.

Another important aspect of growth involves implementing the latest medical equipment. Of course, veterinarians desire to offer quality diagnostic and treatment options to their patients. Barriers include the initial cost and a steep learning curve for doctors and staff.

Student debt carried by new graduates from veterinary schools is another challenge to practices wanting to increase the number of doctors on staff.

As a result, a serious point of friction emerges. Growing practices need to offer a variety of services and longer, more convenient office hours, but that is sustainable only with a multi-doctor practice.
How can your company, your products, or your services offer practical assistance to the growth of veterinary clinics?

3) Mounting Regulations

Talk about a double-edged sword! We all want to protect people and pets through careful handling of pharmaceuticals, radiation, and biological wastes. However, burgeoning regulations enforced by federal and state agencies continue to siphon off time and cash from small businesses like veterinary practices.

Meanwhile, with the best of intentions, professional veterinary associations have added to the burden with a flow of changes to their constitutions and by-laws. Simply finding time to stay aware of those changes adds to the stress.

Many practitioners are asking themselves, “When am I suppose to practice my profession and find time for living a balanced life?”

By being sensitive to the time crunch faced by practitioners can help build a business relationship.

4) Human-animal bond

Here’s another sword with two edges.

On one hand, the best clients are often the ones who’ve developed a strong emotional bond with their pet(s). They’ve experienced the joy of loving and protecting an animal who gives back even more. Four decades ago, hardly anyone would admit to sharing a bed each night with their pet. Now, it’s common and almost expected.

On the other hand, strong human-animal bonds raise expectations and responsibilities from veterinary practices. Meeting those expectations demands highly trained staff from the front door to the kennel-grooming. Providing and maintaining quality training is an endless task for practice owners.

How can your company become a valuable partner in training veterinary teams to meet the demands of operating at a high professional level?

5) “Dr. Google”

Every veterinarian who’s practiced more than a week has encountered the client who’s researched the internet. They come into an exam believing they’ve already made a diagnosis and discovered the best treatment for their pet’s ailment.

A well-honed set of people skills is essential when this happens. The doctor must display respect, empathy, and patience to help these pet parents see the value of a thorough exam, history, and diagnostics. A lot is at stake during such a conversation, not the least of which is the health of the patient.

Can you and your company arm veterinarians with resources to educate clients with reliable medical knowledge?


Dr. Steve Pearson helps companies who do business with people in the animal health industry by writing content from the heart of a veterinarian. That’s because he’s been one since 1972.


Contact him today to enhance your marketing strategy with content that speaks the heart language of veterinarians, pet owners and anyone involved in animal health care.




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