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July 7, 2023

Veterinary practice expansions: 2020 and beyond

Reasons to consider taking a loan to pay for a vacation

We still talk about the many impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our daily lives. From the move to remote work for corporate employees to border closures, trade restrictions, and disruptions in supply chains—the list goes on and on.

But one trend that hasn’t been as prominently discussed is the rapid growth of animal adoptions.

According to the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), nearly one in five households acquired a cat or a dog in the first year of the pandemic—that’s more than 23 million U.S. households. During difficult times, pets helped their owners cope with isolation and provided stress relief.

23 million pets in U.S. households

As a result, many more people experienced the joys of pet ownership and have continued to cherish these new companionships long after COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.

We are bonded by nature.

Owners reciprocate their pets’ loyalty by providing them with essential care, seeking medical treatments to keep them healthy and living longer. Non-medical services such as overnight boarding are also in heightened demand as people are now much more likely to return to the office on a daily basis and resume holiday travel.

Did you know? It’s been noted most recently that the pet industry is generally resilient to economic downturns, more so than it has been historically. For example, according to, the pet industry experienced 5.1% growth in sales during the financial crisis of 2008. Consumption of pet products and services also grew at a faster rate than the overall U.S. economy during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, with 16.2% growth compared to 4.3%. Nowadays, pet-related expenses are typically built into the mandatory family budget.

Growth during economic downturns: 5.1% in 2008, 16.2% in 2020


Ideas for expanding a veterinary practice

Now more than ever, veterinary practices are taking steps to keep up with the increased demand, accelerating their expansion timelines.

If you’re a practice owner who is considering expanding your current operation, we’ve prepared a list of ideas for you to contemplate as you determine the best path to growth:

  • Adding square footage, including exam rooms, operating suites, studio apartments for doctors who need rest between shifts, etc.
  • Constructing a wing for pet boarding
  • Adding new services such as a pet retreat and spa
  • Remodeling an existing location and/or enhancing facilities with state-of-the-art features, such as a rehab pool, an underwater treadmill, etc.
  • Enhancing boarding suites by adding flat-screen TVs for continuous enjoyment and enrichment, as well as cameras with online streaming so owners can see their pets while they are away
  • Building a separate room for pet acupuncture to treat muscle injuries
  • Adding (or expanding) an onsite pharmacy
  • Enhancing outdoor spaces by installing shaded patios with misters and artificial turf fields
  • Purchasing a plot of land to start another location

You’re likely familiar with some or most of these types of expansions given that they’re taking place across the industry. But we encourage you—with this list in mind—to conduct your own thorough evaluations to determine how you can stay competitive, foster growth, and capitalize on heightened demand.


Veterinary practice loans for expansion

Of course, these types of investments—additional square footage, facility upgrades, and new equipment—require significant capital.

Many practice owners are taking out veterinary practice financing to fund these much-needed expansion projects, and some are consolidating debt (including their student loan debt) as they borrow additional funds.

Since 2001, BHG Money has served over 70,000 healthcare professionals, including many veterinarians, providing over $6B in funded loan solutions.

We provide highly specialized commercial financing up to $500,0001,2 with repayment terms of up to 12 years1 and dedicated concierge service 7 days a week. Compared to other veterinary practice lenders, our loans are designed to support every stage of your practice with flexible-use financing that’s customized for your goals.


Visit our payment estimator to see an obligation-free loan estimate in 30 seconds.


¹ Terms subject to credit approval upon completion of an application. Loan sizes, interest rates, and loan terms vary based on the applicant's credit profile. Finance amount may vary depending on the applicant's state of residence. Call for complete program details.

² BHG Money business loans typically range from $20,000 to $250,000; however, well-qualified borrowers may be eligible for business loans up to $500,000.

For California Residents: BHG Money loans made or arranged pursuant to a California Financing Law license - Number 603G493.

No application fees, commitment, or impact on personal credit to estimate your payment.