Pet Owner Survey: Payment Plans Over Discounts

VetBilling conducted a survey of pet owners at the World of Pets Expo and Educational Experience in Timonium, MD (outside Baltimore) to help us find out what pet owners are really looking for when it comes to managing veterinary costs.

The Pet Expo here in Maryland is the largest pet consumer show of its kind on the East Coast, so we were hoping we would get a lot of participation in our survey…and we did!  Over the course of the three-day event, 574 attendees took our survey.  We spent the following weeks compiling, sorting, and analyzing all the data.

This was an informal survey, not a scientifically designed version.  The goal was simply to gather feedback from pet owners about how they perceived veterinary costs, how they would prefer to pay for those costs, and whether or not cost causes them to delay or forgo veterinary treatment, among other things.  We wondered whether they preferred discounts over payment plans, and we wondered how many (if any) chose their veterinarian based on price alone.

sick pet

Surveyed pet owners prefer pay-over-time options to discounts, especially for higher-priced services, like dentals.

What we did differently from other surveys was get into a little more detail about preferred payment methods.  Since most of the data generated by the veterinary industry over the past decade repeatedly confirms that pet owners are worried about how to pay for care, we didn’t feel we needed to focus on that – it’s kind of a given.  But we did want to know how pet owners would respond to the opportunity to take advantage of novel payment methods, such as the installment payment option VetBilling offers.

While the results of our survey aren’t terribly surprising, they are nonetheless informative and interesting.  We broke responses down by age groups and found some interesting generational differences.  And we were happy to see that most pet owners care more about professionalism, high standards of care, and personal referrals when it comes to choosing a vet, so price alone is not the determining factor – but the availability of payment options (or lack of) does matter to them.

We invite you to read the entire survey here, and please let us know if you would like a PDF copy. You can do that by completing the contact form on our “Contact” page.  Please be sure to note in the “Message” field that you are requesting the Pet Owner Survey results.

The survey takes a minute or so to load, so please be patient.  ALL the survey pages are included.  You must scroll to the bottom of the first page to see the directional arrows that allow you to navigate to the additional pages.