May 9, 2024 - News

🩺 Our pets need more vets

Data: Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

New veterinary clinics are popping up in North Carolina amid an ongoing national vet shortage.

The big picture: The pandemic pet adoption boom aggravated the shortage, which has contributed to provider burnout.

By the numbers: The number of vet establishments across the country has gone up 8.4% since 2012, according to 2021 Census Bureau data, the most recent available.

  • In North Carolina, the number of vet establishments went up from 955 in 2012 to 1,161 in 2021.

Zoom out: Many more vets are probably still needed to meet demand.

  • As of 2022, there were about 86 million dogs and 66 million cats in the U.S., an annual increase of about 2% a year since 2016, according to American Veterinary Medical Association spokesperson Mark Rosati.
  • In 2023, the AVMA noticed demand for companion animal veterinary services started to return to prepandemic levels, a trend expected to continue this year, Rosati tells Axios.

Now, two in three households own a pet, per American Pet Products Association data.

What we're watching: Veterinary schools are increasing class capacity and a number of new vet schools are in development, Rosati says.

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