Month/Year of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)



First Advisor

Travis Robbins


The comparison of urban versus rural clientele as to their access to veterinary care and preferences regarding veterinary services has received little research attention. A better understanding of client perspectives is critical for ongoing efforts to provide more equitable availability of veterinary services across varying demographic areas. In this study, I directly assess differences in access to veterinary services based on client perspectives from both rural and urban locales across Nebraska, USA, a state almost directly in the middle of America. It was expected that rural clients would experience more barriers to veterinary access in general and with respect to specific services based on the knowledge that rural areas generally have fewer veterinary clinics and those that are available provide fewer services. I found many similarities across urban and rural populations, the most surprising was that neither population experienced any of the most common barriers to veterinary access. Additionally, both rural and urban clients would rather seek their usual clinic than emergency services, which have greater availability in urban areas, for emergency care. These results suggest that the veterinary-patient relationship is an important aspect regardless of the availability of services. Overall, the shortage of rural veterinary providers does not seem to contribute to clients’ barriers to access or their use of veterinary services such as annual visits, additional treatments, or specialist care.