American pet ownership continues to set records. In Chicago, this encourages the establishment of veterinarian practices. While those already in business face specific trials, a new vet clinic must address certain challenges. These range from the changing nature of veterinarian medicine to the current attitude of individuals to animals ownership.
The pet population of cities like Chicago continues to grow. Small-animal vet clinics are springing up to respond to the need. New veterinarian practices, to be successful, must consider the following issues:
1. Size: While a veterinarian clinic may start small, the trend is toward incorporation and increased size. Can a small clinic buck this trend?
2. Cultural: Cities are a mixture of different cultures. Many non-Western cultures look at pets differently than many North Americans do. There is also an issue of the majority of vet clinics being under the operation of white individuals. A new vet must understand the perceptions of other cultures and should incorporate non-white personnel into the workplace.
3. Client concerns: Increasingly, pet parents expect the best. They want the latest technology.
4. Price: Vet prices can vary across the board. A new vet clinic is under extra stress because of the necessity of purchasing equipment, space, etc. However, the majority of pet owners cannot afford high prices. How best can a vet respond ethically while making a living?
5. Online Media: Online sites, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, help spread the word about a new clinic. However, contentious clients and disputes can also create a negative buzz. Managing to walk this tightrope can be difficult.
The Future of a New Vet Clinic
The future of any new veterinarian practice is not definable. While challenges do lay ahead, it is important to remain optimistic. In Chicago, if a new vet clinic works with his/her clients on different emotional, cultural, psychological and economic levels, it is still possible to succeed while keeping true to vet ethics.