Veterinary Pricing – How it Works
When it comes to pricing veterinary services, it often seems that the sky’s the limit.
Clients from various clinics often wonder why identical surgical procedures are so differently priced at various clinics around town. It seems like every veterinary practice has their own, individual fee scale, making it difficult to ascertain why there is such a range of pricing.
At the heart of these fees lies the “Fee Guide”. Each State, Province or Territory has a governing Veterinary body that puts out an annual Fee Guide. This Fee Guide is a basis for which veterinary practices are to set their prices for all services they perform. While these fee guides set a maximum that should be charged for various surgeries, treatments and methods of care – they do not set a minimum fee. The fees posted in the guides are an average range that takes into consideration small town veterinary services and larger urban and city located veterinary services.
Traditionally, veterinary costs are less expensive in smaller towns than in the city due to the fact that the largest expenses -Staffing and Property Rent/Mortgage, Advertising/Marketing etc, are lower in these areas. The costs of veterinary equipment remain virtually the same across the board. Thus fee guides are designed to allow are respectable level of income for veterinary services in larger urban areas. However, this leaves extra money available for veterinary services in smaller areas where the bulk of their expenditures are not as high. Traditionally, smaller city, town and rural veterinary services have kept their prices lower in order to attract and keep a good client base
. As of the past few years, more and more veterinary practices in smaller areas have been utilizing the prices in the top end of the fee guides. This has created much “sticker shock” especially among clients who have not had a pet for a few years, or have acquired a young animal that needs the initial vaccine booster set and neutering or spaying.