Top 4 Reasons a Pet Owner Cancels Their Pet's Vet Appointments<!-- --> | Chckup

Table of Contents

1. Clients Aren’t Being Reminded of Their Pet’s Appointments and/or Confirming Them

2. New Clients Lack Familiarity

3. Your Policies Don’t Have Consequences

4. Pet Owners Do Not Know The Importance of Their Pet’s Health

Implement New Strategies

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Top 4 Reasons a Pet Owner Cancels Their Pet's Vet Appointments

Elliott Greenwood

May 19, 2023 · 3 min read


Top 4 Reasons a Pet Owner Cancels Their Pet's Vet Appointments

Pet owners have several reasons to cancel their pet’s vet appointments. Unfortunately, veterinary cancellations and no-shows are problems that every veterinary practice faces. While there is no way to eliminate them entirely, understanding cancellation issues and practical strategies to combat them can reduce their occurrence in your veterinary practice.

Your practice uses a substantial amount of resources in scheduling appointments and veterinary procedures for your clients’ pets. Cancellations are a drain on your resources. 

Ensure that your veterinary practice is taking advantage of all possible strategies to reduce cancellations, including using veterinary appointment reminder software by Chckup.

Read on to learn more about the most common reasons clients cancel their pet’s vet appointments and the practical strategies you can use to minimize them. 

1. Clients Aren’t Being Reminded of Their Pet’s Appointments and/or Confirming Them

Sometimes life happens or people simply forget. Life is crazy, and unless a pet owner is extremely organized, there is no guarantee that they will remember to bring their pet into your practice. 

This is why your practice must use reminders and confirmations to limit these preventable no-shows or late cancellations. 

However, even if you send reminders and confirm appointments, your process may need to be more effective. 

The first thing you should do is review your data. Determine what your cancellation rate is for customers that received reminders and confirmed their appointments. 

If it is higher than expected, reconsider your current approach and suitable alternatives. For example, implementing automatic appointment reminders. 

2. New Clients Lack Familiarity

New clients may call to make an appointment for a multitude of reasons. 

However, since the two of you have never met before their first appointment, it is easier for them mentally to cancel or be a no-show. 

Your practice must confront this propensity of new clients because they help your practice grow exponentially through referrals. 

Your practice should have a particular protocol for rapport-building during the initial communication. For example, taking a few extra minutes on the phone to connect with a new client can improve the probability that the client will not cancel. 

Additionally, it would be best if you attempted to schedule new clients as quickly as possible. 

Fresh off a phone call that established some familiarity, it's best if the client was booked and in the practice within the next two days for their pet’s first appointment. 

With these two steps, pet owners will find your practice friendly and efficient. As a result, they will be more likely to keep their appointment.  

3. Your Policies Don’t Have Consequences

Knowing that cancellations and no-shows are a part of any veterinary practice means you need well-established policies concerning cancellation issues. Make sure your practice has covered the following matters in its cancelation policies:

  • Required cancellation notice

  • Number of cancellations or no-shows that result in a penalty

  • Number of cancellations that prevent that client from booking appointments

Your staff must explain these policies to pet owners so that they fully understand the expectations. Moreover, you have to have an efficient system to track cancellations and follow through on your rules. 

Veterinary practices with thoroughly explained cancellation policies in place result in fewer cancellations from pet owners. These policies give pet owners fewer reasons to cancel appointments. 

4. Pet Owners Do Not Know The Importance of Their Pet’s Health

Part of any successful veterinary practice is to educate your clients. 

If you tell your clients to return in three months for another procedure, they are more likely to cancel because they may not understand its importance to their pet’s overall health. 

Create a comprehensive treatment plan for your clients, and set goals. 

Explain the importance of each procedure from a health perspective. This will encourage a more significant commitment to the plan by pet owners and help them understand the tangible benefits of keeping their pet’s vet appointments. 

Your veterinary practice needs to adapt to the reality of client cancellations. While you cannot prevent all cancellations, you should direct a great deal of effort into minimizing them. After all, no-shows = no-money.

Implement New Strategies

Knowing the reasons pet owners cancel appointments is half the battle. Now you must implement strategies to minimize those cancellations. 

Start by reaching out to our team at Chckup to learn how our software can minimize cancellations.

Are you a veterinary professional?

If you're in the veterinary field and you're interested in giving your practice the extra hands it desperately needs, book an 8 minute demo with Chckup. Our platform helps busy practices handle call overload, boost revenue per client, and increase client satisfaction by providing actionable insights and easy-to-use technology to help you stay on top of everything.

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