Naturally, your beef clients are animal lovers. Their dogs are often more than pets, serving as ranch hands and driving buddies. The cats help keep rodents at bay and sometimes they keep the children entertained. Yes, their small animals are more than pets. They’re often part of the family.
Bob McClung, DVM, Tiffin, Ohio; and Erik Andersen, DVM, Nevada, Mo., say by treating a cattle producer’s small animals as part of the family, you can find increased revenue for your practice and increased satisfaction from your clients.
McClung has found a career in the family business, following in his father’s and uncle’s footsteps. Having practiced for nearly 37 years, he has seen a change in the face of his clients in the area of this college town. When he began, he served 86 dairies. Today, he serves six. The changing face of the industry has led to many former dairy producers in his area moving into feedlot and cow-calf operations.
His practice began as 50/50 large and small animal. As time has progressed, however, small animals now comprise nearly 70 percent of the practice.
“We meet with many different people, including those who work at the colleges and who are well-read and up on current trends,” he says. “We get asked some interesting questions from our small animal clients.”
McClung’s small animal practice has become American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) accredited, demonstrating their commitment to providing quality care, and serving as a great marketing tool for their clinic, as well.
Erik Andersen worked for a few veterinary clinics before beginning his own clinic, 54 Veterinary Clinic, in 2005. Andersen’s practice is about 50 percent cow-calf producers and stocker-backgrounders, with the remaining half comprised of small animal owners.