The Lean Months – Buyer Beware?
Every industry typically has busy and lean seasons throughout the year.
In the Veterinary business, clinics typically are very busy during the spring, summer and part of the fall. Winter is traditionally a much quieter time.
It is here during the quiet winter months, that pet owners are more likely to end up paying more for veterinary services and treatments than during the busy times. There are various reasons for this. Primarily it is the fact that income generation is at the forefront of the business when revenue is slow. More attention is paid to billing and invoicing. In addition, there are very few promotions being run by the laboratories in the way of blood testing and such. However, the drug, food and other product suppliers are beginning to push their new or revamped products onto the veterinarians as a new year begins, and they in turn are pushing them onto their clients.
Most veterinary clinics are prepared for a couple month “slow down” each year, but if the economy falters, or a town or city experiences a large company closure that results in mass employee lay-offs, this will definitely affect the overall financial reserves of the veterinary practice and they need to make up the financial shortfall somewhere.
If your pet is not coming in for an emergency visit, you may be wise to book your pets’ vaccination appointment in the Spring. There are several reasons for this. Laboratories run reduced price specials for Veterinary clinics – generally from April to July. This testing covers Lyme and Heartworm disease testing and often includes other blood tests such as Wellness testing for senior pets or those with kidney, liver and diabetes issues. These savings can be worth anywhere from $30 to $90 or more depending on the type of tests. In addition, new Loyalty and Rewards programs for pet food, nutritional supplements, and various over-the-counter pharmaceuticals often begin as well during the Spring. These loyalty and reward programs offer mail-in rebates, stamp cards for free products after a certain number of purchases and free trials of various items.
As your pet ages and begins to require various medications or testing, you will find that these springtime bargains are a great financial help.