The Business of Practice: Equine Vet Facilities for 2023

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Having an equine vet facility that allows you to provide more services to clients can improve your bottom line.

What equine vet facilities are being built in 2023? In this episode of The Business of Practice podcast, we talk about this with Heather Lewis, AIA, NCARB, of Animal Arts architecture firm.

Of course what equine veterinarians need as far as facilities or a clinic depends on the practice, said Lewis. One thing she said was that a facility is a tool. Practitioners can use equine vet facilities to attract and retain vets, add money-making services and be more efficient in practice. She said having a facility can give the vet tools so that they can offer more services to clients

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Lewis said a few equine hospitals are adding spaces for computed tomography (CT) units. She said that space and equipment allow practices to increase diagnostic services. “And it gives a cool space that vets want to work in,” she added.

She said veterinarians feel like they can provide better care to clients and patients, which “makes their lives more interesting.”

Other Equine Vet Facilities

An equine vet facility could be simple, said Lewis. “If you are primarily ambulatory, you could add a haul-in for reproduction or complicated dentals,” she noted.

Lewis said adding diversity to an equine veterinary facility could be profitable. She said many equine veterinary facilities are adding small animal services. However, Lewis said many equine vets know very little about what is needed at a small animal hospital.

But, she noted, “small animal [veterinary facilities] make more money per square foot. You can get a lot of revenue.”

And she added that there are shortages of small animal vets just like there are for equine vets.

Lewis said adding a haul-in facility is one of the easiest ways to start on the road to earning more money. She said that equine vet facility can also provide relief to ambulatory vets so they aren’t having to drive every day. A haul-in facility can start as a big open space under one roof to a facility designed then grow to fit your vision.


Lewis said if an equine vet is busy and has a growing practice that isn’t going to change, “you should build.”

She said if an equine vet is in a shrinking market, maybe this isn’t the best time to build.

“Have a master plan, but only bite off what you can chew,” she said.

She reiterated that a vet hospital is an important tool to retain clients, make money and attract vets.

Lewis said some contractors are looking for work, so that makes it easier to build.

Check out a previous The Business of Practice podcast with Lewis where she discussed Supply Chain Issues and Opportunities for Veterinary Building.

About Heather Lewis, AIA, NCARB

Heather Lewis, AIA, NCARB, joined Animal Arts more than 20 years ago and became a principal in 2004. She is highly experienced and extremely versatile in every aspect of animal care architecture, having designed numerous award-winning veterinary hospitals, animal shelters, and assistance dog facility projects. She is a member of the Fear Free Advisory Board and an author of the Fear Free standards for veterinary hospital design. Heather also leads the Building and Facility working group for Human Animal Support Services (HASS). She has dedicated her career to creating environments that bring people and animals together.

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