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TDK conference 2008

The secret to running a successful veterinary. A survey of the needs of pet owners and veterinarians alike
Papp Karina Judit - year 4
Department of State Veterinary Medicine and Agricultural Economics
Supervisors: Oszkár Bíró, Kinga Fodor


The aim of this survey which enquires into the needs and opinions of both pet owners as well as their Veterinary service providers is to collect comprehensive information which would enable any animal practice, existing or upcoming, to better conduct its business. We have endeavoured to spotlight a variety of eye-openers which practices should heed to, as these reflect the ideas, opinions and obvious demands from their clients and thus provide an insight into what prevails in the minds of the Hungarian public when it comes to approaching vets for their services. All the information gathered comes from on-line sources and is of an entirely anonymous nature. People's responses were voluntary and the data is in complete accordance with marketing resource laws/rules for research. Our intention was to purposefully question the attitude of the people participating in the survey by covering not only objective but also subjective areas, thereby focusing on quality rather than quantity in the derived result - which is indicative of customers' motivational and expected mindsets when choosing a particular practice.

814 people filled in our on-line questionnaire (½ of these lived in the countryside, ¼ of these lived in the capital, Budapest and ¼ of the people declined to mention their whereabouts). The results of this questionnaire show that there are more pet owners to be found in the countryside than in the capital and that the number of dogs exceeded cats as pets by a majority. More than 80% keep pets for pleasure or fun. 64% of these owners expect their Vets to treat their pets in the same way as they are treated by their owners: as members of the family. The most important factors that surface when people choose a veterinarian are: staff working in the surgery have a good reputation (53.8%); surgery is clean and hygienic (88.1%); doctor arranges a convenient and punctual time to consult (80.1%) - with appointments availed in afternoon or early evenings (84.6%); qualified staff (91.6%) that is accurate and quick (88.7%); availability of required medications in the surgery itself (88.8%); availability of required pet food in the surgery itself (64%); thorough clinical examination performed (80.1%) with preventative care exceptionally important (92%); updated information about their pet's disease with caveats and prescriptions (71.2%); as well as compulsory vaccinations and treatments (71.1%); friendly and polite staff at all levels of the surgery (24.3%); interior décor and looks of the practice (3.8%); how technically advanced and equipped it is (1.7%), and internet presence of the surgery making it easy to locate (1.2%).

One of the most interesting results in the on-line survey was that according to the pet owners, only 1% found the price of treatments to be a major deciding factor in choosing a Vet. The majority of the clients would rather hear what the doctor recommends rather than how much that would cost them. Nevertheless, 64.8% (more than ½ of the people surveyed) gave importance to the itemization of costs involved and expected to have treatment information provided to them in a detailed outline with step-by-step procedures – all of which would rightly justify their visit to their respective Vets.

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