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.
source-image
Aug 01, 2008
By dvm360.com 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

Follow dvm360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest

For quick updates and to touch base with the editors of dvm360, Veterinary Economics, Veterinary Medicine, and Firstline, and check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Sell veterinary clients on your service

But you don't have to have butler-style service to win new clients and keep existing clients happy.

Why veterinarians should be more like a Louisiana shoeshiner

If my veterinary clients feel half as good as I did after visiting the 'Michael Jordan of shoeshines,' I'll be thrilled.

Texts from your veterinary clinic cat

If your clinic cat had a cell phone and opposable thumbs, what would he or she text you?

Learning goodbye: Veterinarians fill a void by focusing on end of life care

Veterinarians dedicating their careers to hospice and euthansia medicine may be pioneering the profession's next specialty—at clients' request.