Your Veterinary Client Base is an Ecosystem: Here Are The Keystone Species

Posted by Matt DiFazio on Jul 12, 2016 4:31:45 PM

513562cc2d411db1ca7b54a5ad7adba4.jpgIn the past few weeks, we’ve been speaking a whole lot about the momentous opportunity for veterinarians offered by Millennial pet ownership. But this isn’t to say that they’re the only sort of client that’s crucial to your practice’s success!

The treasure trove of research we’ve amassed about veterinary customer demographics has revealed three crucial pet owner profiles that amount to the bedrock of every robust client base.

And just like a healthy ecosystem, a healthy client base requires diversity to keep a practice stable in varying economic climates.  Let’s take a look at three of the keystone species:

1) The Veterinary Super Spender - The Top Predator

There aren’t very many veterinary super spenders, but it only takes a few to send the dollars cascading down your balance sheet.  These folks are highly concerned about the well-being of their pets, have plenty of expendable income, but are pressed for time due to family and job commitments.  Sometimes known as the “A-List Clients,” vets love to work with these folks because we get to utilize the full extent of the medicine we were taught to provide.

Here’s how to spot a super-spender:

  • Married professionals (ages 45-64) with households of 3-5 and at least one post-collegiate degree
  • Is willing to try new technology as long as it’s easy to understand and simplifies their life
  • Pet is considered a member of the family, and is reaching middle age
  • Time is precious, but cost is not their primary concern

2) The Ethics-Driven Millennial - The Invasive (yet, very welcome!) Species

The immense power of the Millennial demographic is twofold:

1) they are numerous and growing rapidly

2) they are driven by ethics, and don’t respond to traditional marketing

Already Millennials are the largest pet owning faction, and their relative importance will continue to grow in the coming years. As I mentioned earlier, we have spoken extensively about the pivotal role these young folks will play for veterinary practices, and I encourage everyone to learn more about the Millennial pet owner by viewing the infographic below, and/or getting a free copy of our eBook.

Millennial Pet Owner Infographic

3) Cat Owners - The Opportunistic Species

And finally, we have the cat owners.  Despite there being a larger population of cats than dogs in the U.S. (86 million vs. 78 million), their owners are notoriously difficult to convince that regular preventative checkups can not only lead to better quality of life, but truly save lives.

Here’s why cat owners remain crucial: they represent a massive opportunity for any veterinarians who can crack the code of appealing to them.  Like an opportunistic species, they will thrive given the perfect set of conditions (an all feline practice, for example), but the general approach of most vet clinics won’t win them over in droves.

The profile of the average cat owner:

  • Age 30-49, professional, more often female, college educated, introverted, & analytical
  • Cat is seen as a companion, rather than a family member
  • Feels that cats are independent and require less care
  • Average cat owning household has two cats


With such a diverse client base, it can be tough to craft a service experience that appeals to everyone. This is the beauty of providing alternate communication channels - for those that like to call, the phones are still there, but Millennials get an app interface, cat owners get regular reminders for appointments, the super-spenders get “in your pocket” convenience, and the veterinarian gets fewer calls to the front desk.

See VitusVet in Action!

Topics: Grow Your Veterinary Practice, Millennials in veterinary medicine