It would seem natural that having a vet on your premises would be a positive thing. You could be the hub for all your clients pet care needs. As a facility owner you would have access for medical issues and questions that might arise. This all sounds great, right?
Let’s look at this from a different prospective. One of the highest referring sources to your pet care facility should be local veterinarians. This has been our experience. Over the years we have built and maintained many strong relationships in the veterinarian community. They will freely refer to us because there is no fear of losing potential clients since we don’t have a veterinarian on staff.
So what do you do about those medical issues and needs you might have. Make a strong relationship with one or two local vets. You will want to have discussions with the veterinary about how they might be able to help you with emergencies and other needs that might come up. You can still promote that you have a veterinarian on call at all times putting the clients mind at ease.
You may want to consider your protocol and procedures for non-emergency related vet visits, such as an ear infection or hot spot. To keep everyone happy it is probably best to contact the owner’s veterinarian first. If that vet is within a reasonable distance we would make every attempt to take the pet to their own vet. For those that are just too far away we would go to the local on call vet but always communicating with the pets own vet so everyone is in the loop.
Don’t get me wrong some facilities do have veterinarians on sight and are very successful. This depends on the position and strength in their particular market.
Don’t forget to cover your expenses for vet trips; it is ok to charge transportation fees. There is an expense to you to have a vehicle and staff member available to make these trips to the veterinarian.