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Types of Veterinary Practices

Six Different Types of Veterinary Practices

Animal healthcare encompasses diverse medical services and veterinary practices can be specialized for certain types of animals or procedures. If you’re thinking about starting your own practice but are unsure about the type you’d like to pursue — and what makes sense in your current market — here are six different types of veterinary practices to consider.


General Veterinary Practice

Probably the most common type of vet practice, the general veterinary practice is catering to companion animals – mostly cats and dogs. In some cases, however, these practices will perform basic check-ups for other small animals, such as rodents and birds. 

Along with medical check-ups, general vet practices handle vaccinations, spaying/neutering, and dental care, and they can offer advice and treatments for common issues, from skin infections to kennel cough.


Specialized Veterinary Practice

Sometimes, a general vet practitioner will refer their patients to a specialized practice to tackle more advanced or difficult conditions. These vet clinics have a staff of specialists with advanced knowledge in the fields of ophthalmology, dermatology, orthopedics, cardiology, and neurology, to name a few. They also have the equipment and technology to make a diagnosis and come up with a treatment plan. 

[READ MORE: How to Hire the Right Veterinary Technician]


Exotic Animal Practice

The definition of an “exotic” animal varies, but generally, these are all “non-traditional” pets such as rodents, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and other small mammals such as ferrets. There is a growing trend of acquiring unusual types of animals as pets, such as sugar gliders, possums, and even current Internet favorites — capybaras!

However, since these animals are not legal to possess in every state, there’s a limited number of exotic animal practices available. Due diligence is key — make sure there’s a need for such a practice in your location/s of interest before opening a new one.


Emergency/Critical Care Practice

These types of practices provide 24/7 care — urgent cases, trauma, and critical conditions which require immediate attention are treated here. Such clinics probably have a more stressful environment than other practices. Still, they are necessary medical institutions since they are providing medical care outside of regular veterinary practice hours and during holidays. 

[READ MORE: Starting Your Practice: Different Types of Veterinary Jobs to Know]


Mobile Veterinary Practice

Did you know that there are around 30,000 mobile veterinary practices in the US? That number is increasing annually, which shows a growing need for making standard care easier by meeting pet owners where they live. The idea behind mobile vet practice is to offer medical pet care for elderly/disabled owners or people with multiple pets who find it challenging to bring their beloved animals to a local general vet practice.

Furthermore, having a vet practice on wheels can cater to a larger number of patients than a typical practice. You can create a schedule that works for you depending on the location of your clients. 


Equine Veterinary Practice

Equine veterinarians specialize in the care of horses and other large animals. They specialize in routine care, preventive medicine, lameness evaluations, dentistry, reproductive services, and surgical procedures. 

Such vet practices are more common in rural areas with more livestock. Some equine vets are opting for mobile units since they usually have to travel long-distance to reach their clients. You’ve probably seen “All Creatures Great and Small” – James Herriot’s adventures as a village vet are depicting the veterinary profession true to life!


Planning on starting your own business? We can help.

PS Broker is a team of professionals specializing in veterinary practices brokerage. With over two decades of experience buying and selling vet practices, we can assist you in executing the most significant transaction of your career.

Whether you’re already set on purchasing a current vet practice or you wish to start your own from scratch, our specialists and advisors can give you invaluable advice.

Get in touch with us today!


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