The infamous ancillary service debate

The infamous ancillary service debate

Some of you see boarding, grooming, and retail as important revenue sources and client services, but others of you want to send a different message.
Aug 01, 2008
By staff

Practices that sell retail items. (Illustration by Marci Roth.)
Many clients enjoy the convenience of one-stop shopping, and you can offer that convenience by providing medical care, grooming, boarding, and nonveterinary retail items under one roof. But mention in a room crowded with veterinarians that your practice offers grooming, and you'll likely get heated reactions for and against providing such ancillary services. Some veterinarians who don't offer boarding and grooming say those services detract from your image as a medical professional—you should stick to what you do best, and that's practice a high standard of medicine. Wouldn't you think your dentist was a little nutty if he offered to shine your shoes? A tad unprofessional, perhaps?

Practices that offer boarding.
But supporters of ancillary services say it's a matter of providing clients with the most convenience—and clients notice and appreciate the efforts you've made in order to take care of all their pets' needs under one roof. Plus, when you offer these services, pets and clients come through your practice doors a lot more often, creating more opportunities for you to spot medical problems, make recommendations, and offer treatment.

Practices that offer grooming.
So who's on the right side of this thorny issue? Well, there's no right or wrong. But here's what your peers had to say about the big three—and how you can learn from their mistakes and successes.

Hot topics on dvm360

Dog of Dallas Ebola patient will not be euthanized, authorities say

Health officials have quarantined and will monitor dog and amid concerns surrounding deadly virus.

Video: How to perform a belt-loop gastropexy

Prevent GDV in your at-risk patients with this simple technique.

Stretch your skills to earn more in veterinary practice

Finding new tasks could be the key to generating more income for your practice—and boosting your pay.

Veterinary community stunned by Sophia Yin's unexpected death

Prominent veterinary behaviorist died of suicide Sept. 28.

Study shows sustained salary slump for veterinary support staff

Since 2009, technicians paid by the hour have experienced a bump in pay, but pay for other team members has stayed stagnant, according to data from the 2014 Firstline Career Path Study. Here’s a look at changes in team pay from 2009 to 2013.