From Care to Costs: Helping Clients Navigate Pet Parenthood

25 July 2023 5 min read


Sponsored by CareCredit®

We know your veterinary practice cares deeply about building strong relationships with pet
parents. At times, your clients even consider you their partner in pet parenthood, helping them make the best
care and wellness decisions for their best friends.

One very important way to strengthen the veterinarian-client bond is through thoughtful, timely and open
communication regarding the benefits and costs involved with taking care of their loyal companions.

Pet parents want to be well informed and prepared to make decisions about their pet’s health, instead of feeling
overly consumed with cost concerns. In fact, in Synchrony’s Lifetime of Care Study, almost seven out of 10
pet owners said they consider their pets as members of the family, yet 45% of dog owners and 38% of cat owners
underestimate the lifetime cost of care, which ranges from approximately $20,000–$55,000 for dogs and
$15,000–$45,000 for cats.1

Use knowledge as power. You can help pet parents become better informed so they feel prepared, confident
and in control to ensure a lifetime of quality care for their pets.

Consider some of these strategies to help make cost conversations comfortable and positive—for you and
your clients.

1. Build team confidence.
One of the best ways to help your client feel reassured that they’re making the right decisions and move
forward with recommended treatment is to lead by example. The confidence your team exemplifies is contagious, so make sure they feel comfortable discussing costs and obligations clearly.

Here are some tips for helping your team build this communication skill:

  • Start by asking questions about why it may be difficult for your staff to discuss costs.
  • Use role-playing exercises to practice going through important talking points.
  • Offer training on a regular basis to help reinforce good habits and share ideas.
  • Provide tools such as checklists and talking points to equip staff with best practices.

2. Speak your clients’ language.
To help clients fully understand the importance of keeping their pets healthy, connect with them on a personal
level. Try to refrain from using only clinical terms because this could add confusion and stress.
Incorporate friendly and compassionate language that will resonate, build trust and enhance client loyalty. The
more clients rely on you and your team, the more likely they will be to accept your recommendations throughout
their pet’s lifetime.

3. Provide payment options to help ease decision making.
Surprises for pet parents should come from the funny, lovable and unexpected things their pets
do, not from the size of veterinary bills. That’s why it’s best to be fully transparent at all points of care when discussing treatment plans and costs. In fact, one out of four pet owners say that an unexpected expense of $250 or less is a financial issue.1

Help make billing predictable. Offer flexible ways to pay over time, with options such as the
CareCredit® health and pet care credit card. Flexible payment options can help give your clients
more peace of mind and empower them to feel in control of their pet’s health.

  • Before the appointment: When clients call to schedule an appointment, let them know about the payment types
    you accept and that promotional financing is available with the CareCredit credit card. Be sure to share
    cost information on your website or other client engagement materials.
  • During the appointment: Clearly and gently explain associated costs and coverage. Ask clients about their
    preferred payment options and present available financing solutions.

One solution to enhance the client’s in-clinic experience—and save your team time—is the
CareCredit integration with Covetrus Pulse™, Covetrus’ cloud-based veterinary operating system
(vOS™). The integration allows you to quickly process payments and CareCredit credit card applications,
and look up clients’ CareCredit accounts, all in one screen. This way, you can see if an individual
prequalifies for—or already has—the CareCredit credit card before their scheduled visit. Having this
information upfront makes the financial conversation that much easier, and fast payment processing means a
smoother checkout experience for the pet parent.

After the appointment: Clearly communicate outstanding payments, if applicable, and
help clients understand what they owe and the due date of each payment. Use friendly reminders (such as texts,
voicemails or emails) to share ways financing can help clients pay for copays, deductibles and out-of- pocket

Keeping your clients engaged during each of these interactions can help set expectations early and increase
customer satisfaction. In turn, well-informed clients may also be more likely to make timely payments—an
additional benefit for your practice’s cash flow. Plus, when you and your team save time chasing payments
or completing administrative tasks, you gain more time to focus on what matters most—keeping pets

Provide your clients an easy way to pay for pet care
To turn on the CareCredit integration with Covetrus Pulse, visit If you’re not already accepting the CareCredit credit card, get in touch with CareCredit and easily apply to enroll today.

To learn more about Pulse, visit

Covetrus is a registered trademark of Covetrus, Inc.

CareCredit is a registered trademark of Synchrony Bank.

1Pet—Lifetime of Care Study, August 2021