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Pet Perks Complement Employee Benefits in Veterinary Industry

Posted By Christine Shupe, Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Landing a job isn’t only about the work. A competitive salary and benefits are important considerations, but other perks can increase employee satisfaction and loyalty. VHMA surveyed veterinary professionals to uncover specific details about discounts and benefits routinely offered to employees. VHMA received 274 responses.


Overall, employers in the veterinary industry offer a range of perks to their employees, the most common being discounts on services identified by 96% of respondents and discounts on products, selected by 95%. More than half of the respondents (58%) report that they receive free products and/or services. Respondents were given the opportunity to list additional perks that they did not feel were covered by Discounted and free products and services. A sample of the comments include annual stipends for pet care, pet insurance and products at cost, to name just a few.


Only one respondent indicated that products and services are not discounted for employees.


Discounts for products, as reported by 53% of respondents, tend to be 41% or more. Specifically, the breakdown is as follows:  28% receive a discount greater than 50% and 25% report a discount that is between 41-50%. Twenty percent report a 16-20 % discount for product.


Employees receive a slightly lower discount for services. A significant number of respondents (36%) say they receive a 16-20% discount, 27% have access to a discount of 41-50% and 26% enjoy a discount greater than 50% on services.


While discounts are good, free is even better. In general, 77% of respondents receive a free benefit or service from their employer. Twenty-three percent work in offices that do not offer any free products or services.


Fifty-three percent report that the office provides free examinations. Trailing far behind are free office call, vaccinations (5%), hospitalization (4%) and dental procedures (3%).


A handful of services were identified as free by one or two respondents and include injections, treatments, anesthesia, laser therapy, ultrasounds, euthanasia and cremation, daycare/boarding, lab work, fecal and gland expression, grooming and vendor samples, to name a few.


And while they may not be free, in an open ended response, respondents described additional perks of employment like, deep discounts on surgeries and $0.50 per hour worked deposited into a pet savings account for pet care.


Pet care perks can help to attract and retain employees. These perks should be reviewed periodically to determine whether they are relevant to employees and competitive with other practices.


As most practice managers and owners know, the IRS has regulations governing the tax treatment of employee discounts. These regulations apply to all kinds of businesses, including veterinary practices and they are not a new thing. If the discounts offered by a practice exceed those allowed by the IRS, the amount of the excess discount is to be treated as taxable income to the employee. Each practice should

consult their tax advisor for more information on this topic.


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