I was reading an interesting article in Smart Money titled, “The $20,000 Pet” today. As quoted in the article, a report by market-research company Packaged Facts stated that Americans spent $20 billion on veterinary bills in 2010 — an 8.5% increase from a year earlier and more than double the amount spent just a decade ago. It went on to say that pet owners often don’t argue when a vet recommends treatment for a beloved pet. Stating that a recent survey by the Associated Press and Petside.com found that 35% of pet owners said they were very likely to pick up $2,000 in vet costs to treat a sick dog or cat, while 22% said they’d pick up $5,000 in vet costs. Much of that money is being spent on new medical technology.
The article goes on to point out that pet insurance is benefiting from this trend and becoming more popular with pet owners which is driving up premiums more than 20% annually. Still, pet insurance is used by a small percentage of pet owners and the benefits offered are limited in many cases. So all this begs the question, “how do pet owners afford these new high cost services?” Conversely, “what should veterinary practices do to promote these high tech procedures and attract these more valuable customers?”
Pet care financing is the solution. Veterinary practices and Animal Hospitals that are on the leading edge of offering these procedures based on new medical technology understand the need to offer financing to their customers.