Are you spending too much (or too little) on staffing for your veterinary practice? Finding the right balance of employees and their workload is key to ensuring that your clinic is profitable and provides the best care to your pet patients and clients.

Keep reading to learn more about balancing team staffing needs to maximize profits and set your practice up for long-term success.

Understanding the Basics of Veterinary Staffing

Whether your vet clinic has a small staff or an expansive roster of team members, veterinary professionals should be aware of how their staffing choices affect the practice as a whole.

Within the team, there may be the following staff members and levels of veterinarians:

  • General practitioners
  • Specialists
  • Vet techs and nurses
  • Receptionists
  • Veterinary assistants
  • Practice managers


Depending on your preferences and goals, you may elect to use a veterinary recruiting agency or recruitment firm that specializes in direct hire placements for job seekers in the veterinary field who possess a deep understanding and maintain a singular focus on the success of vet hospitals and clinics.

While there’s no singular rule about how employers should staff their clinics, there are some general guidelines about how to balance staffing needs in the veterinary industry to boost quality of care, maximize productivity, encourage business growth, and promote peak satisfaction.

A practice manager may oversee veterinary recruiting, training, scheduling, and supervision while determining the right number of personnel needed to handle the workload and keep staffing costs in check.

The Role of Staffing Ratios in Veterinary Practices

Staffing ratios are important to look at to determine the efficiency and effectiveness of a vet clinic. The ratios can reflect what kind of workload each team member can handle, and it’s a good idea to know what your benchmarks are to guide the hiring process.

This is especially critical when using a recruiting firm to attract top talent. The reason is that you want everyone on board to be working toward the same goals, whether that’s maximizing profits, prioritizing animal health, creating a strong partnerships and lasting relationships with pet parents, or a combination.

Knowing how many staff members and qualified veterinary professionals to have on board is essential to completing tasks on time and on budget without compromising the quality of care.

Calculating Your Ideal Veterinarian Staffing Ratio

There are a couple of ways to calculate staffing ratios for veterinarian clinics and animal hospitals in the animal health industry:

  • As a percentage of veterinary income
  • As a ratio between vets and support staff


On average, support staff across veterinary practices is around 22-25%. The range in veterinary medicine practices can be based on the types of caseload, patient care needs, the pet specialty the practice focuses on, and whether the clinic provides add-on services like animal nutrition and selling retail pet products.

From a pure profit standpoint, some clinics may seek to minimize the size of support staff or try to see more patients with fewer veterinarians. However, it’s crucial to balance the needs of clients with the overall health of a practice. Often, the first step is calculating the staffing ratio, seeing if it falls in line with the industry averages.

Strategies To Optimize Staffing Veterinary Practices

A savvy practice manager understands the importance of being able to adjust staffing levels to meet changing practice needs without sacrificing service quality.

For example, spring tends to be the busiest season for vet clinics and other facilities that work in the area of animal science. As a result, practice managers may reach out to a veterinary recruiting firm or seek out other contract staffing solutions to streamline the hiring process and bring on extra hands when there’s more demand.

It’s important, however, to be flexible and be able to end or reduce the scope of employee contracts when the clinic is in a slow period. Too often, clinics adjust to a larger staff as the “new normal” and fall into the trap of constantly increasing staffing costs.

Leveraging Technology for Efficient Staffing

Technology can be instrumental in the veterinary profession to optimize staffing levels and reduce overhead costs. For example, Weave’s scheduling tools and management software can make scheduling appointments a breeze while automating tasks like appointment confirmations and rescheduling. This single feature alone can save a vet clinic an average of $59,000 annually.

5 Innovative Solutions to the Veterinary Staffing Shortage – Weave Webinar

Addressing Common Staffing Challenges

Identifying common pitfalls in veterinary staffing, such as overstaffing and underutilizing skilled staff, can be a game-changer for a clinic. While adjusting schedules and reducing staff can be challenging, these speed bumps can be overcome by encouraging a positive work environment, offering competitive compensation, providing room for growth, and being transparent about the clinic’s goals.


Being disciplined enough to have optimized levels of staff can be a win-win for both the practice and patients. To see how Weave’s management solutions can help you better handle veterinary staffing needs, schedule a demo.

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