Five myths debunked about care plans for veterinary practices

28 July 2023 5 min read


Some common myths exist about implementing care plans for your veterinary clients. Let’s dispel some misconceptions and find out the truth behind them.

Myth #1:  Care plans are discount programs
Fact: Most care plans focus on value, not discounted services. An overwhelming amount of data shows that discounting is not a key driver in whether consumers sign up for wellness plans.¹

Care plan programs that focus on value can stick to their retail pricing while offering affordable monthly payments pet owners appreciate.

Myth #2: Clients sign up, consume a lot of services up front, then leave the program
If this is a concern, then a practice can consider delaying the delivery of big-ticket services like spaying and neutering or dentistry until new clients have built up a history of making payments. Veterinarians have the discretion to do only what is necessary at the first visit and postpone the rest of the services for the second visit in six months. 

Myth #3: We’re in a high-end socioeconomic area, so people do not want these plans
Fact: Millennials and older pet owners choose membership programs, ranging from Amazon Prime to Netflix, and wellness plans are expected to see a rise in demand.¹

Jessica Lee, Vice President of Global Total Rewards at Covetrus®, says “First, it’s not about being able to afford it – it’s about creating a program that says to the client, ‘This is what we recommend as the optional care for your pet.’ Clients want to do what is best for their pet, and in this way care plans serve as an amazing educational tool.”

Lee is often surprised to see clients who can afford veterinary care opt to purchase a care plan, but then pay the entire cost up-front. To her, it confirms that owners want to do what is best for their pet, regardless of their bank balance.

Myth #4: Care plans make veterinarians perform the same services for less money
Fact: This myth ignores the big-picture benefit of care plan programs. Veterinarians can make significantly more money on a care plan pet.

This myth also overlooks another truth that Covetrus has witnessed over the years. Care plan clients tend to agree more readily with their veterinarian’s recommendations and buy more add-on services – services that are not typically sold at a discount. While the pet is in the examining room, veterinarians may perform five services instead of two, which is not a big impact on their time – and those extra services are charged at retail.

Myth #5:  A care plan is too much work to maintain
Fact: This does not have to be the case. Having the right partner can help to relieve the workload. With the Covetrus platform, the ongoing management of care plans is minimal.

Instead of having to spend valuable time trying to recover payments, you can rely on Covetrus Care Plans software that acts as a recurring billing system, which sets a recurring charge to your client’s credit card. The Care Plans software, along with the Covetrus Care Plans Call Center, helps reduce the calls your veterinary practice needs to make to track down missing payments.

Marketing materials may also be provided to help promote Care Plans to your clients, which takes that responsibility off your plate as well.

It is never too late to find the right care plan solution for your veterinary practice. As a partner, Covetrus provides a complete pet wellness solution that combines software and professional services to make managing a complete care program easy.

Covetrus Care Plans is a flexible program designed to help more pets get care, give pet parents choices, and empower veterinarians with robust tools and analytics to propel practice growth.

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1. “Why Wellness?” VCP White Paper. Accessed July 27, 2023.