Why care plans can benefit veterinary practices

25 July 2023 5 min read


As a veterinary professional, your heart is in the quality care you provide for your patients. Preventing issues and treating ailments early is a shared goal. Care plans (also known as wellness plans) deliver on this goal by empowering you and your teams to focus on your important work while helping clients afford the healthcare their pet needs.

The veterinary industry is at a crucial juncture. You’re likely aware of the challenges facing today’s practices. From veterinarians and support staff leaving the workforce to online and consumer-direct offerings chipping away at practice revenue, the vet-client bond is affected as customer loyalty dwindles.

You might look at your books and see that revenue is up, but those numbers are not guaranteed to hold steady. Inflation-linked price increases have caused pet parents to spend more on each veterinary visit, but what happens when they can no longer afford trips to your clinic?

According to Today’s Veterinary Business, general veterinary visits were down in 2022.¹ Keeping per-visit costs to your consumers high may provide your bottom line with a temporary fix, but steep per-visit pricing is not a sustainable solution. Creating a complete care plan program helps provide long-term potential.

Offering your clients new ways to afford their pet’s care by empowering them to budget over time may help strengthen their loyalty. Flexible care plans can help you attract new clients too.

Care plans help boost a practice’s financial prosperity because they can improve your business’s bottom line while helping to alleviate pressure on your clients’ budgets. In short, care plans can be a win-win: by helping your clients care for their pets, you help your practice.

Care plans drive 10% revenue growth in the first year2
Let’s take a closer look at how this works:
On enrollment, your clients instantly become members of your care plan program. A membership approach may lead to more office visits, which can help increase compliance and improve care. Care plan clients also make more purchases of your out-of-plan product offerings and services. In addition, clients with pets on plans are more likely to listen to a veterinarian’s recommendations because the care plan membership model has already fostered that loyalty and trust by its very design.2

It might seem counterintuitive that care plan clients spend more upfront if their goal is to budget, but the key is that spreading out costs allows people to plan, budget, and save which affords them the ability to make the best possible choices for their pets. Care plans provide an unparalleled means to continue the growth of your loyal customer base and expand it to new loyal-from-the-start clients.

A plan for every pet
We designed Covetrus® Care Plans to help keep the veterinarian at the heart of pet healthcare by making our framework customizable to any practice’s unique protocols. Our technology’s cutting-edge functionality, with the ability to add and remove optional services at any time, ensures the ability to address changing treatment needs. You then can help more pets by offering preventive care, treatment, dental-only, chronic illness plans, optional services, and more.

Changing consumer behaviors and challenges to the industry
Clients, from millennials to fixed-income retirees, benefit from subscription billing and may seek it out specifically. Membership and club programs have become popular for this reason.3 Of course, the ability to budget is always beneficial, but it is even more valuable when people are facing financial hardship or uncertainty.

On the veterinary practice side, care plans even out cashflow and provide predictable practice revenue. Care plans can be mutually beneficial to the finances of both pet parents and practices.

As a partner, Covetrus provides a complete pet wellness solution that combines software and professionals to make managing a complete care plan 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 help improve health outcomes while supporting practice growth.


1 Upon Final Analysis: Price increases drove the veterinary industry in 2022, but what about this year? Today’s Veterinary Business. https://todaysveterinarybusiness.com/veterinary-industry-pet-owners-0423/. Accessed July 17, 2023.

2 “Why Wellness?” VCP White Paper. https://software.covetrus.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Why-Wellness-2022-03.pdf. Accessed July 17, 2023.

3 3 Strategies for Making the Most of the Subscription Economy. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/sponsored/2022/03/3-strategies-for-making-the-most-of-the-subscription-economy. Accessed July 17, 2023.