Growing Animal Care Market Creates New Needs for Veterinary Facilities
With the Triangle’s growth in population over the past several decades, the need for high-quality veterinary facilities has remained strong. Consumers want a vet in close proximity to where they live for convenience. The N.C. State College of Veterinary Medicine is producing qualified veterinarians, many of whom are choosing to stay local, further increasing the number of practices in the region.
Meanwhile, the trend of pet owners pampering their animals means that vet practices can often earn as much revenue on ancillary services as they do on medical services. This is changing the mix of business, as well as the requirements for modern vet facilities.
Fortunately, as it relates to financing, the animal care industry continues to be a low-risk client for banks. Lending institutions are willing to work with Veterinarians to find the best possible solution for their financing.
“When building new vet facilities, there are many considerations that didn’t exist 20 years ago,” said Will Marshburn, senior project developer at Bobbitt Design Build.
According to Marshburn, whose firm specializes in building veterinary facilities, today’s practices include not only treatment rooms, labs and surgery suites, but often areas for dental services, pharmacy, boarding kennels, outdoor/indoor exercise, pet daycare, training, grooming and retail.
“In addition to expanded services, pet owners are placing a greater emphasis on aesthetics,” said Marshburn. “Consumers want a warm, comfortable and inviting atmosphere, as well as a clean, odor-free environment. When building new facilities, fresh air movement and ventilation are important to maintain a clean air environment.”
Site design is also a consideration. The average new veterinary office in the Triangle is approximately 7,000 square feet. Factors like parking, stormwater drainage, and municipality requirements impact the lot size and shape, so these aspects must be carefully planned.