a woman holds a dark brown Dachshund standing beside a vet holding a clipboard
3 Best Practices for Creating An Impactful Patient Visit, Every Time! typography
By Dr. Audrey Wystrach

he veterinary industry has experienced multiple changes in its approach to pet care. Pet ownership in the U.S. continues to grow, with a majority of households—as many as 70 percent or an incredible 90.5 million homes1—owning a pet. Data supports that pet adoption rates increased due to the pandemic, forcing veterinary practices across the country to endure a dramatic surge in pet appointments while working to retain a full staff and maintain their ability to provide the highest quality of pet care.

Through this unprecedented juncture, the veterinary industry experienced multiple changes in its overall approach to care—for pets and their parents. Despite the challenges caused by increased workloads and psychological stress felt throughout the industry, veterinary professionals remain optimistic about the future of pet care and have discovered numerous growth opportunities through the adversity they have faced. By thinking creatively and anticipating problems before they arise, veterinary practices can continue to prevail in times of uncertainty.

Though veterinary professionals have had to reevaluate their operational processes and adapt to fundamental shifts brought on by the pandemic, veterinary practices must remain focused on delivering quality pet care, emphasizing the patient experience at the forefront of their company values. Pet parents look to veterinarians for their expert knowledge, guidance and, most of all, comfort when needed.

Here are three best practices veterinarians and their care staff should implement to create an impactful visit for pets and their parents, every time:
1. Remain transparent yet empathetic during all visits typography
During a pet care visit, it is essential that the curtain is lifted and pet parents have full access to their pet’s records, service costs and the care details provided. Vets and their care teams can practice proactive healthcare, sharing their insights and processes every step of the way to deliver insightful, educational care without it being overwhelming to the pet parent. As the primary keeper of a pet’s records, veterinary professionals must communicate all necessary information to pet parents and empower them to make the best decisions for their pets.

Additionally, veterinary teams must understand that a pet parent’s journey constantly evolves. Veterinary professionals must pay keen attention to their empathetic nature, be compassionate with pet parents, and offer their full support in any situation, especially when delivering unexpected and upsetting news. Now more than ever, veterinary clinics must incorporate a palliative nature in every interaction with pets and their families to heighten their credibility as trustworthy pet care providers. Pet parents rely on their veterinarians for guidance in caring for their furry family members, seeking reassurance that their pets are in good hands.

2. Avoid regressing to transactional behavior typography
When the pandemic shut down the entire world, our society desperately craved human connection. This need ultimately revealed a heightened demand for exceptional communication between veterinary professionals and their clients (i.e., curbside veterinary care). Today, veterinary practices rely significantly on their ability to offer outstanding customer service focused on creating personalized, meaningful interactions with every pet and pet parent. Recent studies report that 50 percent of U.S. consumers prioritize customer service when choosing whom to do business with,2 and pet parents are no exception.

There are many ways veterinary practices can apply personal touches to their services, including providing virtual care when pets and pet parents need a quick check-in or cannot come in physically to a veterinary office. Personalized touches like accessible care expand service offerings, putting convenience at the forefront of care and creating more intimate, one-on-one interactions with pet parents. Taking note of a pet parent’s birthday or acknowledging a meaningful milestone in their lives helps veterinary clinics provide an enhanced patient experience that is intentional and approachable.

Recent studies report that 50 percent of U.S. consumers prioritize customer service when choosing whom to do business with, and pet parents are no exception.

3. Maintain consistency in every step of the process typography
Consistency is critical in every pet visit. From the moment pet parents walk through the door to the time of check-out, veterinary professionals must ensure all boxes are checked as satisfactorily as possible throughout a patient’s visit. Pet parents want to know and feel that they are receiving the best care possible and that nothing gets swept under the rug with their pet’s treatment. By doing so, veterinary practices will establish achievable expectations for each visit across the board, sending pet parents home more knowledgeable than they were before and with a positive experience.

Consider taking your patients’ care a step further by extending it beyond their visit. These actions can include text or email reminders about their upcoming appointments, post-visit phone calls to check on the pet’s condition or any lingering concerns, and sending a personalized letter thanking them for their loyalty as a patient over the years.

Given the countless hurdles the industry has endured in recent years, veterinary professionals have never wavered in their passion and consistency. They remain the most prominent advocates for our pets today. Providing proactive pet care that is transparent, personalized, and accessible will result in establishing strengthened relationships between families and their veterinarians. By approaching pet care as a collaborative and supportive practice rather than a transactional experience, businesses can create lasting relationships with the pets and pet parents they serve daily.
  1. Pet Industry Market Size, Trends & Ownership Statistics. APPA.
  2. 22 Customer Experience Stats for 2022. (2022, June 28). CGS.
Headshot of Dr. Audrey Wystrach
Dr. Audrey Wystrach is the CEO and Co-Founder of Petfolk, providing modern veterinary care that puts pets and their parents at the center of a connected care community. Dr. Wystrach has more than 25 years of experience as a hands-on veterinary practitioner, practice owner, manager, virtual care specialist, de novo hospital expert, and COO. She now leads the charge as founder and CEO at Petfolk. Dr. Wystrach and her team deliver premier care through a network of pet care centers and digital health services to address the health and well-being of pets in the greater southeastern U.S.