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cranky client

From enraged to engaged

If your first thought is to fire cranky clients, don’t. Anyone can have a bad day or even a bad year. Dig deeper into their discontent and earn their admiration.

A cranky old cat hides inside all of us. Most of the time she’s napping, but when we haven’t gotten enough sleep or we’re overwhelmed by work, she wakes up. And the world knows it. What sets her off might appear trivial or insignificant, but she’ll still hiss with irrational and unexpected malice. Months into […]


3 trends advancing practice software

Mobile apps save time by quickly connecting the veterinary team to the records system and to clients. Also here to stay and evolving quickly are telemedicine and artificial intelligence.

If the only true technology constant is change, then 2020 has been an exemplar for technology in the veterinary industry. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, veterinary clinics of all sizes have been forced to reconcile with technology changes in adapting their workflows. While change can be stressful and disruptive, it can have a silver lining. […]

Kristina Kanani Henricks financing

Be right on the money

If you need capital for a practice start-up, upgrade or expansion, should you pursue debt or equity financing? With one you answer to a lender and the other to an investor.

Kristina Kanani Henricks, DMV, MS, Ph.D., was following her dream when she opened Good Karma Spay and Neuter Clinic in Hilo, Hawaii, this past summer. “I had no idea how hard it would be to secure financing,” Dr. Henricks said. “My credit score is exemplary, and I am an experienced veterinarian, so I thought I […]

fleas ticks

The choice is yours

When it comes to fleas and ticks, clients will be motivated to buy preventives from you if you focus on convenience, cost, compliance and a select number of products.   

Fleas and ticks, like cockroaches, have been around much longer than pets and people. They don’t disappear or hunker down during public health crises. They do what fleas and ticks have always done: cause irritation, infection and even infectious diseases. Because of that, veterinarians planning their seasonal or year-round attack on fleas and ticks have […]

payroll systems

The whole picture

Money Matters

A cash stockpile can leave you with a false sense of security if you fail to scrutinize all the systems that keep your practice humming.

When a client presents a patient, how do you assess the animal’s health? Before touching the cat or dog, you might get a feel for its well-being based on coat quality, general body condition and demeanor. Do you stop there? Of course not. If we instead substitute a veterinary practice for the patient, the owners […]

construction manager

Team building

Constructive Criticism

Erecting a veterinary hospital nowadays isn’t as simple as getting a quote and signing a contract. Do you want a construction manager, and if so, should the person be an “agent” or “at risk”?

My August/September article “Assembly Required”— read it at bit.ly/ConstructiveCriticismQA — addressed how to find a builder. In this second part, I’ll talk about project delivery and today’s most popular contract arrangements. Q. What do you mean by project delivery? A. Project delivery refers to the execution of construction work. It includes pre-construction activities like obtaining […]

COVID coverage

COVID, insurance and your practice

Protect and Defend

Questions that few people were asking a year ago are suddenly on everybody’s mind.

As the pandemic sweeps across the United States, the delivery of veterinary services has changed dramatically. Not surprisingly, veterinarians and practice managers have raised questions about insurance coverage and risk management. This is the first of a two-article series highlighting the most frequently asked questions I have received from my insurance clients. Q. Do workers’ […]

pet health insurance

Insurance assurance

Clients will follow your lead if you show confidence in pet health insurance. Veterinary teams need to choose a couple of favorite companies and brush up on policy basics. Appointing a point person is a good idea.

Whether on an airplane, in a restaurant or at the front desk of a veterinary hospital, pet owners ask about pet health insurance. But of course, they usually ask about it too late — after a major medical or surgical expense. That’s because we, the veterinary profession and the decades-old insurance industry, have done a […]

telemedicine app

There’s an app for that

Innovation Station

Communicating with clients and seeing patients remotely has never been easier.

It was 2015 and a woman driving a Toyota Corolla pulled into the parking lot of Monticello Animal Hospital in Shawnee, Kansas. Practice owner Crista Wallis, DVM, watched as the woman got out of the driver’s seat, pulled three wooden planks out of the trunk, opened the rear passenger door, erected a ramp to the […]

canine ear health

Reality checks

With chronic ear disease, follow-up care is essential to a successful outcome. Learn to boost compliance, strengthen the human-animal bond and get your patients feeling like themselves again.

When Kathryn Primm, DVM, CVPM, called to find out why her client’s dog missed a follow-up appointment after two weeks of otitis treatment, she got a response that changed her practice permanently. “The client said her dog’s ears were fine, she didn’t need a recheck, and we were just trying to get extra money.” Needless […]