Market for Veterinary Services

Vet examining a dog's ear.

Despite the ongoing national shortage of veterinarians, the number of veterinary practices has been on the rise in recent years, however, that could be changing. In part three of this series on the AVMA report, let’s take a closer look at the Market for Veterinary Services:

  • Number of veterinary businesses - In 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated there were 32,110 veterinary establishments in the country compared with 32,125 in 2019. But those numbers are up 11% compared to the decade 2010–2020, which saw the number of veterinary establishments increase from 29,043 to 32,110.
  • Practices are getting larger – From 2009 to 2020, practices with 20 or more employees grew from 11.9% to 16.5%, while those with fewer than 10 employees represented 53.6% of all veterinary establishments in the U.S. in 2020, compared with 59.5% in 2009.
  • Corporate vs. Private - Corporate practice numbers continue to increase, while individual practices are on the decline, decreasing from 22.9% in 2009 to 12.1% in 2020. About 8% of practices are partnerships.
  • Veterinary practice economics - Most veterinary clinics are open six days per week and almost 9.5 hours per day. Veterinary assistants account for the largest number of hours worked at companion animal practices, while veterinarians account for 16-26% of labor hours. Companion animal and mixed animal practices saw an average of approximately 1.2 patients per DVM hour.
  • Technology – Despite its ability to increase staff productivity, improve workflow, and reduce production costs, technology was not found to be highly used in the U.S. veterinary industry.
  • Revenue – In 2022, median gross revenue increased from 2021 for companion animal, mobile, and equine practices. Companion animal and mobile practices reported the highest median gross revenue ($1,200,000), followed by mixed animal practices ($1,162,500), then equine practices ($775,000). From 2021 to 2022, 77% of practices had an increase in revenue, while 15% had a decrease in revenue over the same period.

The data also shows that by better incorporating technology into veterinary practices and using staff to perform the tasks for which they’re best qualified, clinics could increase efficiency, productivity, and revenue.

Do you need help hiring the right staff to grow your practice? Allow me the opportunity to tell you how my team has earned an 88% success rate in presenting quality candidates to our clients within the first 90 days of the recruitment process. I look forward to hearing from you.