VetBilling 2016 Pet Owner Survey: Pet Parents Prefer Novel Payment Methods to Help Manage Costs

In late January this year (2016), VetBilling participated in the World of Pets Expo and Educational Experience in Timonium, MD (outside Baltimore.)   We decided that we wanted to offer attendees – mostly pet owners, but also other pet enthusiasts and entrepeneurs, including a few veterinarians – the opportunity to participate in an informal survey we created 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.  The entire process is now complete, and we want to share the results with you.

Keep in mind, as stated above, this was an informal survey.  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 oPet Owner Survey blog graphic3n price alone.

We don’t claim that these results are from a scientifically selected random sample, because they aren’t.  But scientifically designed or not, what we can say about our results is that they generally reflect the trends that the veterinary industry has been seeing over the past four to five years, at least in terms of pet owner perceptions about the cost of veterinary care.  What we did differently from other surveys was get into a little more detail about preferred payment methods.  Since most of the recent data generated by the veterinary industry repeatedly confirms that pet owners are worried about how to pay for care, and that veterinary visits are declining, 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.

There is quite a bit of information in the survey that we think you’ll be interested in, so we invite you to read the entire survey here, and please let us know if you would like a PDF copy to be sent to you.  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.