Just like with human health, there are many options when it comes to care for you dog. From “primary care” from an ongoing veterinarian, to “urgent care”-style services from a mobile or “next available” vet, there are all kinds of services to meet every need your dog has.
Each of these three types of veterinary services is designed to fit the needs and lifestyle of any type of dog owner. Mobile veterinary services, Vets in store, and full service permanent veterinarians offer the full line of whatever services you are looking for.
Mobile Veterinary Services
Mobile veterinary services will travel to you and meet you in the comfort of your home or farm, and at a time that is convenient for you. This is the most convenient option as you can book an appointment that works in your schedule, and often your dog (or animal’s) primary care veterinarian will schedule regular visits. Not only will your pet be most relaxed in their own environment, but they can get to know and be comfortable with a recurring person.
Veterinarians like Dr. Andrea Switch realized there was a need to meet animals on their own turf, and to offer a convenient option to pet owners, so she launched her mobile service.
While mobile services are very convenient, they are limited to the procedures they can perform due to the limited amount of equipment they are able to travel with, and lack of surgical space.
A few veterinarians and services that offer home visits include VetPronto, HousePaws, VettedPetCare, and ValetVet.
Community Vet Clinics
Another convenient option that bridges the gap between home visits, and a traditional veterinarian is the community vet clinic. Often these clinics are located at pet stores and have convenient times like weekends and evenings. When the host store or center doesn’t have the space inside, often you will find the clinic in a tent outside. One of the independently owned chains that often hosts clinics is Pet Supplies Plus.
These clinics often do not require an appointment can offer a lower cost than a traditional veterinarian office because they have fewer fixed costs. Listed on the VIP Pet Care site, they have the following services listed as available at their clinics:
- Rx Flea and Tick Control
- Heartworm Prevention
- Testing and Deworming
- Titer Testing
- Nail Trims and Grinds (select locations)
Canine services include:
- 5-in-1 (DAP + PARVO) Vaccine
- Canine Rabies
- Bordetella Vaccine
- Leptospirosis 4-way
- Roundworm/Hookworm Dewormer
- Fecal Test
Feline Services include:
- 3-in-1 (FVRCP)
- Feline Leukemia Vaccine
- PureVax Rabies Vaccine
- Roundworm/Hookworm Dewormer
- Fecal Test
Community vet clinics typically offer emailed records, walk-up service, and convenient locations that you already visit, and may offer lower prices than traditional veterinarians. While these locations are staffed by professional veterinarians and technicians, they can suffer from high turnover rates due to the intense travel requirements, so you may not have the same veterinarian or technician working with your pet on separate visits.
Full Service Permanent Veterinarian
Traditional veterinarians offer the most comprehensive service due to their permanent facilities and the ability to install specialized equipment that may not be able to travel. Bringing your dog or cat to a veterinarian location may have certain drawbacks, like needing to visit during their established hours, and due to the increased overhead expenses they may be more expensive than other options, but having a permanent staff may ease the anxiety of your pet as they become familiar with the team who work there.
Full service veterinarian offices are often facilities accredited by the American Animal Health Association (AAHA). These voluntary standards help to ensure that your pet has the most enjoyable and safest experience possible while in your vet’s care.
There are so many variables that each pet owner must take into consideration when looking to find the best care for their pet, and finding the right balance of cost, convenience, and quality. With more service providers recognizing that pet owners today are looking for veterinary care, there are ever-expanding options to find the right type of care for your pet.