Challenges of Owning a Veterinary Practice

There are many advantages to owning a veterinary practice. However, as with any business, veterinary practice ownership poses unique challenges. Therefore, as a practice owner, it’s important to understand these challenges and how to address them. In this article, we examine some of the most common challenges of owning a veterinary practice.  

Heavy Workload

Veterinary practice owners have a lot of responsibilities. Not only do they have to focus on growing the business, but they also must deal with marketing, administration, clinical duties, payroll, and more. In fact, studies show that veterinary practice owners often work in excess of 70 hours a week. Of course, the tradeoff is that veterinary practice owners get to experience the perks of owning a business, such as not answering to a boss, setting their own policies and procedures, establishing a work culture that aligns with their personal values, and more. 


Establishing a veterinary practice can be expensive. The cost to start a practice can depend on several factors. For example, when acquiring an existing practice, you’ll be paying for things like the business’s goodwill, equipment, and materials. This can be costly. And if you’re starting from scratch, you’ll need a significant amount of money to get your practice up and running. Common costs associated with starting a new practice include: 

  • Acquisition costs
  • Staff wages
  • Drug fees
  • Marketing costs
  • Equipment costs
  • Rent or mortgage costs

On the flipside, although starting or purchasing a practice can be expensive, these costs can be recouped many times over if the practice is successful. 

Management Can Be Difficult 

When starting a new practice, hiring and training new employees can be a challenging process. 

In addition, before starting recruitment, new practice owners have a multitude of factors to consider. For example, new practice owners must establish their practice values to help guide the hiring process. In addition, they must decide what skills their ideal candidates should possess and determine the strategy they want to implement to increase the odds of recruiting and hiring these individuals. 

And owners who acquire an existing practice have the challenge of inheriting an existing team of employees. Taking over and retraining a new staff can be difficult because existing employees may be set in their ways and not open to new ways of conducting business. 

However, dealing with employees, whether existing or new, is not unique to the veterinary industry. So, even though management can be a challenge, especially at the onset, it becomes much easier over time. 

Contact Our Experienced Veterinary Lawyers

At Mahan Law, we help veterinarians address the unique challenges of the veterinary industry. Regardless of the unique needs of your veterinary practice, our experienced veterinary attorneys can provide you with excellent legal guidance. Please contact us today to arrange a free consultation with one of our experienced veterinary attorneys.