The Changing Face of Veterinary Care: The Rise of Corporate-Owned Clinics

In recent years, a quiet but significant shift has been occurring in the veterinary industry: the acquisition of independent clinics by large corporations. This trend, fueled by the growing number of pet parents and the veterinary industry's lucrative nature, is raising questions about pricing, competition, and the future of independent veterinarians.

The Corporatization Trend

While largely unnoticed by the public, veterinary consolidation has been a major topic within the profession. In Canada, corporate chains now control an estimated 20% of veterinary hospitals and employ about 40% of vets. This trend mirrors a global pattern, with similar consolidations occurring in the U.S. and U.K.

The major players in Canada include Vet Strategy, VCA Canada, and NVA, all owned by international companies. These chains often acquire partial ownership of practices, offering financial security and resources to veterinarians but potentially impacting their autonomy.

Impact on Pricing and Competition

One of the main concerns surrounding corporate-owned clinics is the potential for increased prices. While corporate chains attribute rising costs to inflation and other economic factors, concerns about pricing for pet medicine gouging and anti-competitive practices have prompted investigations by regulators in the U.K. and actions by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

The Profit Motive vs. Pet Care

Another issue raised by veterinarians is the potential conflict between the profit motive and the quality of care. Some vets worry that corporate-owned clinics may prioritize financial targets over the best interests of animals. However, chains like Vet Strategy maintain that their vets have full clinical freedom and are not pressured to recommend unnecessary treatments.

The Future of Independent Vets

Despite the growing presence of corporate chains, experts believe there will always be a need for independent practices. Many pet parents value the personal touch and individualized care offered by independent vets. Additionally, some veterinarians prefer the autonomy and control of owning their practice.


The corporatization of veterinary care is a complex issue with potential benefits and drawbacks. While corporate chains can offer resources and support to veterinarians, concerns about pricing, competition, and the quality of care remain. As this trend continues, it's important for pet parents and veterinarians to understand the implications and make informed choices about the care they seek and provide.


“Corporations Are Buying Local Vet Clinics - Raising Questions about Price, Choice and Quality of Care | CBC News.” CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, 21 May 2024,

Vollers, Anna Claire. “Vets Fret as Private Equity Snaps up Clinics, Pet Care Companies • Stateline.” Stateline, Stateline, 29 Mar. 2024,

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