Top 5 veterinary articles of 2021: Stats, salaries, and other hot topics from a challenging yet prosperous year



While many had hoped for more of a return to normal, the pandemic, labor shortages, and other factors kept the veterinary industry on its toes in 2021. Veterinary practices across the U.S. experienced strong growth in revenue and visits year-over-year, while much of the country dealt with the Capitol riot, new COVID variants, commercial space exploration, locusts, tornadoes, and wildfires—just to name a few.

To recap this challenging year, let’s take a look at the top 5 most popular veterinary articles of 2021, as ranked by the number of pageviews for Beyond the Numbers blog posts written in 2021.

Top 5 Veterinary Articles of 2021

“Let’s separate facts from feelings: The data behind emerging veterinary trends”


A doctor greets a patient and client in the waiting room of a practice.

Our fifth most popular article highlights the myth-busting metrics Sheri Gilmartin, CVT and Esther Fraser of VetSuccess presented at the 2021 AVMA Veterinary Business and Economic Forum. 

By reviewing data from multiple areas impacting overall veterinary practice health, we’re able to shed some light on how the predominant narrative in the industry today might not be 100% true— at least not in the ways being reported collectively.


Emerging Trends

“During this workforce crisis, you can’t afford NOT to celebrate Vet Tech Week in October”


A small puppy being looked at by a veterinarian and technician in the practice.

It should come as no surprise that one of the most popular topics of 2021 relates to employee appreciation—veterinary practice managers and owners are wise to celebrate staff and monitor satisfaction during a workforce shortage. 

Veterinary technicians aka veterinary nurses have one of the toughest jobs around and certainly deserve their week of celebration. This article explores 5 creative ways that practice managers and owners can fully honor and support veterinary technicians.


Vet Tech Week

“Myth-busting: Shelter pet adoption and owner surrender stats dispel false assumptions”


Someone holding up their new puppy in the shelter.

We’ve all heard and perhaps even made assumptions about pet adoptions increasing during the pandemic and now the media has also been touting an increase in owner surrenders as more Americans return to work. 

As a data company, we were thrilled to find actual stats and data on the matter—and it appears so were readers. Coming in at number three is an article from shelter expert, Steve Zeidman of PetPoint, a 24Pet Company.


Shelter Stats

“2020 year in review: Veterinary practices perform well despite the pandemic”


a close up of a laptop that has the industry tracker on the screen.

Again we were pleased to see data at the forefront of our second most popular blog of 2021—this time recapping key performance indicators by category for the veterinary industry.

We examined growth in revenue and visits, especially noting the sharp decline in both for March, April, and May thanks to the onset of the pandemic. We also looked specifically at boarding and grooming, product-only purchases, and well vs sick visits.


2020 Stats

…and drumroll please, the #1 most popular blog post of 2021 is:

“State-by-state veterinary salary comparison: Plus how the pros recruit for top talent nationwide”


a veterinarian standing in front of their coworkers, looking at the camera.

Our top article for 2021 comes from Dr. Caren Carney of Holiday Vet, a veterinary staffing service. She analyzed the average net salary and the average cost of living to see where veterinarians can get the most for their money.

Dr. Carney also offered tips on how veterinary practices can recruit better nationwide. Considering the veterinarian shortage, it’s easy to see why this was our number one article. 


Salary Comparison

2021: Year in Review

2021 was a year of immense change. Beyond these 5 articles, what are you carrying with you into next year? What have you learned in 2021 and what do you hope to accomplish in 2022? Now is the perfect time to analyze your past year and plan for your future. 

Know someone who could benefit from reading these articles? Be sure to forward this article.

From all of us at VetSuccess, cheers to a prosperous (and hopefully a bit more normal!) new year and beyond.




Kate Zirkle, the author


Kate Zirkle is a Marketing Manager for VetSuccess. She is passionate about animal rescue, personal development, and travel. When not working to advance the veterinary industry, she can be found kayaking, reading, and planning her next trip. You can reach her at




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