Impacted by educational debt and stagnant salaries, the financial viability of a career in veterinary medicine is a
growing concern for many within the veterinary profession. Many veterinarians are small business owners, which requires
them to learn and practice good business and practice management skills. Despite the recognized importance of business
skills to the success of the veterinary profession, training in this area has been historically limited. An important part of
practice management skills involves policies and practices surrounding pro-bono and discounted services and products.
To assess private practice veterinarians’ practices and beliefs surrounding discounted products and services, an
anonymous online survey was distributed through Veterinary Information Network (VIN). Results from the survey
suggest that most veterinarians regularly discount veterinary services and products. The reasons reported as most
important in determining service discounts were a concern for providing the best possible care for the animal and doing
everything possible for the animal. Results were similar for discounting products, but also included the additional reason
of encouraging clients to try a product. Regardless of the reasons given for discounting, most veterinarians reported not
tracking their discounting practices. These results suggest that despite the fact that most US veterinary schools have been
offering practice management courses for many years, there appears to be low adoption levels of at least some widely
accepted best-practice business models. It is recommended that providing additional training to help guide philanthropic
veterinarians is critical to supporting their financial security and thereby the future of the small animal practitioner.