One of the highlights of wellness/preventive care plans are their ability to increase the number of spay and neuter surgeries a practice performs. Many of us have lost much of our spay and neuter business to low cost providers, but offering the surgery as part of a wellness plan allows pet owners to split the cost over 12 months. Doing so makes it so much easier for them to say “yes,” allowing you to retain that procedure in your practice.
A recent JAVMA study hits home on this very issue when it comes to cats. According to the study, 44% of cat owners who took their cat to a low cost spay/neuter clinic said they did so because the surgery was too expensive at their regular vet. And although 50% of those surveyed said they would have eventually had their cat sterilized at a private practice, many of them would have delayed the surgery in order to save up enough money for the procedure.
Therein lays the beauty of wellness/preventive care plans that offer sterilization surgery. Because pet owners can pay over the course of 12 months, it may make it even easier for them than going to a low-cost provider, where they will still need to pay in full at the time of the surgery. Your practice gets to perform the surgery and the cat receives the standard of care that you recommend.
If you already offer monthly billed plans, but only offer spay and neuter surgeries as part of your puppy/kitten plans, consider adding sterilization as an option in your adult plans as well. Depending on your demographic, many pets over the age of one year are still not sterilized due to cost. Educating the pet owner on the behavioral and health benefits of spay/neuter, and then being able to offer them a cost effective way to get the procedure done as soon as possible, can be highly impactful.