Resources for Veterinarians during & after COVID-19

0 Comments Posted by Alyssa Noonan in General on Friday, May 1st, 2020.

As the coronavirus progresses throughout the United States, veterinary practices across the country are looking for ways to keep their practices open during and after the COVID-19 crisis. Here at VetNetwork, our mission remains to help independent veterinarians grow their practices by increasing the number of patients in their care. Now more than ever, that mission is critical to the livelihoods and future success of the independent veterinarian. Below, we’ve compiled several resources to help you keep your doors open during the pandemic & grow your new client numbers when your office fully reopens.

Treating Veterinary Patients During the Pandemic

In these unprecedented times, it may feel as though your only option is to shutter your doors and wait out the crisis, but there are options available that will allow you to continue to treat patients.


Telemedicine is “a subcategory of telehealth that involves use of a tool to exchange medical information electronically from one site to another to improve a patient’s clinical health status. Examples include using Skype or a mobile app to communicate with a client and visually observe the patient for a post-operative follow-up examination and discussion. Telemedicine is a tool of practice, not a separate discipline within the profession. The appropriate application of telemedicine can enhance animal care by facilitating communication, diagnostics, treatments, client education, scheduling, and other tasks”[i][ii]

Telemedicine is a new concept to many veterinarians but it can be a great way to stay open during this time as well to connect with current clients. You can, and should, use telemedicine to assess your patients for non-emergency consults, as well as for diagnosing emergency situations, before they come into the office.

The FDA has also said they will not enforce the animal examination and premises visit portion of the veterinarian-client-relationship requirements in order to allow veterinarians to prescribe drugs without direct examinations. Learn more here:

If you are looking for more information and resources on incorporating telemedicine into your practice, the American Veterinary Medical Association has a number of great resources on their website here.

Once you’ve chosen a platform for telemedicine, be sure to add the information to your website, it is the first-place clients will look for new information and services during this time.

Reducing Contact

In order to keep yourself and your team healthy, you may consider putting measures in place to reduce contact with your clients. Some examples include not allowing clients into the building but instead offering to retrieve their pet from the car and calling the owner during the exam.

Another way to reduce contact is to post your intake forms and payment options on your website so clients can fill out their forms before arriving to the office and make a payment over the phone once the appointment is complete.

Veterinary Client Communication During COVID-19

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we understand the urgency of communicating your schedule changes and new protocols to your clients. We’ve compiled a list of best practices to help you best communicate your message in these ever-changing times.

Schedule Changes: If you are operating with new or modified hours, be sure to update this information on all available platforms including your website and Google business listing.

Keep It Simple: The situation is changing rapidly. Instead of posting ALL of your new protocols for ALL of your clients, consider communicating it to just those who have appointments or are most at risk.

Keep In Touch: Staying active on your social media platforms during this time is important not only for communication but to reassure your clients that yes, you ARE still open. Text messaging, emails, and website update will all go a long way to keep your clients connected to you during this time.


Planning Ahead

Evaluate Your Website & Branding

One way to take advantage of this time at home is to evaluate your brand and update your website. For many veterinary practices “branding” is an afterthought. Take some time to evaluate your veterinary practice “pre-crisis” and how you envision the future. Now is a great time to take steps and begin planning the veterinary practice of your dreams.

Once you’ve considered your brand and how you envision it in the future, take some time to consider your veterinary practice website as well.

Your website should be more than an information hub for clients. You should view your website as a true extension of your brand that is working for you day & night. Take a minute to pull up your current website and really look at it. Does it reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect how you want patients to view your practice and brand?

These questions may be easy to answer, or they may be very difficult. You may have included these questions when thinking about your business plan many years ago, but have you sat down to consider who you are as a Veterinarian today?

Read more about veterinary practice branding here:


Now Is the Time

If you have an old or outdated website, or have identified a brand mismatch between your practice and your website, now is the time to design a new, state-of-the-art, mobile-friendly website so you are positioned in the best way possible when things return to normal.

Getting to the top of a Google Search During COVID-19

It may feel counterproductive to market your veterinary practice during COVID-19, but one day soon, your veterinary practice will return to normal hours. To be sure clients can find your veterinary practice at the top of a Google search, NOW is the time to work on your website design, marketing and Google rankings. Getting to the top of a Google search can sometimes take 2-6 months so by starting now you are investing in the future health of your practice and client numbers.

If you aren’t on the first page of a search query, you’re missing out on 94% of the clients in your market. Don’t let your competition outshine you. VetNetwork will help you develop an SEO plan for your practice that incorporates on-page and off-page optimizations, dynamic keyword strategies, and a fresh pipeline of unique content that Google loves and people want to read. Our goal is to have your practice rank higher during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

VetNetwork wants to help the independent veterinarian attract more clients and grow their bottom line. Everything we do is with your best interest in mind, and we will work with you personally to help you achieve your professional goals. Whether you would like to see more patients for a specific service, or if you would like to advertise a unique procedure that only you provide, we want to market what makes your practice special.

Returning to Normal

One day soon this pandemic will be behind us and we will all resume normal business practices. Here are some best practices in the first days back to work:

Advertise early: As soon as you know the practice will be return to normal hours and operating procedures, make sure to communicate this to your patients not only on your website but via email, text, and social media channels.

Extend Your Hours: Many clients, including those that may have rescheduled, will now be looking to schedule appointments. Many of your clients may have been out of work during this time and cannot afford to take time off work for a veterinary appointment. Consider adding additional hours and / or days to your schedule in the short-term.

Offer Flexible Payment Options: Once you reopen, clients may hesitate to schedule much needed wellness exams for their pets due to a lack of funds. Consider creating an in-house payment plan for all clients.

Offer Discounts: It may seem counter-intuitive to lower your rates when your practice has been closed, but clients will appreciate your understanding in this time and will likely become clients for life.

Using the tips and resources above will help your practice be ready for the influx of new and returning clients once the COVID-19 crisis has passed.


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