Have you ever tried to take your beloved cat to the vet and had horrible results? Even with a pet taxi, some kitties suffer tremendous stress and anxiety when they’re in a strange place or around strange dogs and cats. If you have a dog or cat that makes visiting a veterinarian’s office an exercise in patience and understanding, there’s a great solution. Mobile pet professionals are becoming the in-thing these days. There are a growing number of vets who take their practice on the road and will pay your pet a visit at your home.
Demand for mobile pet services
The demand for mobile pet services has risen to new highs. Veterinary house calls are nothing new when it comes to bovine and equine animal care. Veterinarians who specialize in herd health have been making house calls for decades, but now we’re seeing a surge in the number of mobile vets who specialize in the treatment of dogs and cats in their home environment, according to Catster. In 2020, there has been an upswing in the number of vets who have equipped vans with everything necessary to offer a mini-medical clinic on wheels for pets. Some are prepared to offer examinations, vaccinations, and some even bring portable X-ray equipment and can perform minor surgeries in your driveway.
Are mobile vets better for your pet?
There are some cats that become so agitated and stressed out when visiting a traditional vet’s office that they become physically sick over the encounter. There are more bathroom accidents and some even vomit because of their anxiety. When a pet is already under the weather, this type of experience can worsen any existing health conditions. A house call from a pet professional is better in such cases because your cat will be more relaxed in his or her home environment. Some vets even use a special pheromone spray that helps cats to feel more relaxed when they arrive, to make the examination and treatment go more smoothly for everyone involved.
It’s not just for cats
Some dogs also have anxiety making a trip to the vet, for the same reasons that felines do. Dr. Patrick Mahaney is a holistic veterinarian who fully understands the benefits of running a mobile vet practice for smaller pets. He treats both cats and dogs, and he shares that pets who have difficulty with mobility, such as the elderly pet population with arthritis, do better when they’re not forced into a portable pet kennel and transported to the office. He’s been doing house calls for pets since 2008. It’s also a good idea when pet owners have multiple pets in the home as any examinations and/or treatments can be performed at the home.
Dr. Mahaney works out of the Los Angeles, California area and his long-term mobile health operation has resulted in a full caseload of clients who depend on him to visit their pets in-home for most necessary medical needs. If a problem is beyond the scope of the care that he can offer in-home, he refers the pet out to the appropriate veterinary specialist, but he performs everything from dental cleanings, spay, and neuters, to general surgeries. He also offers euthanasia services if they are necessary.
The cost of mobile vets
Mobile veterinary services do generally come with a higher cost to pet owners, but for some, the nominal house call fees are well worth it. The total cost for a house call depends on your area and each individual mobile vet sets his or her own rates. The average cost is between $50 and $75 extra for making the trip to your home, but much depends on the total distance traveled and if it’s a farm visit, the cost is likely to be $100 on top of regular charges if larger animals are being examined and/or treated. This is to help offset the cost of traveling to and from the location and for bringing in any special equipment. These are the basic fees for mobile vet housecalls, and then whatever the vet charges for the services rendered on-site.
Pros and cons of using a vet on wheels
There are advantages and drawbacks to using a mobile vet service. On the plus side, more people are doing it and it’s an emerging industry and in some places, mobile vets are increasing in numbers which offer a bit of competition. This is an ideal solution when pets have high anxiety during travel or if it’s hard for them to move around. It’s also an excellent option for pet owners who have difficulty getting around themselves. Mobile pet clinics are great for households with multiple pets because all animals in the house can get their checkup and vaccinations at the same time. This reduces stress and anxiety for your pet and it also prevents exposure to other animals in the clinic who may have a contagious health condition. The only real drawback to using mobile vet services is that they are not available yet in some areas of the country, and there is a higher charge for the visit, and in some cases, regular prices are higher for the services, although this varies from one vet to another.
More vets are taking their services on the road. This is a convenient and less stressful way to ensure that your pet gets the proper medical attention that he or she needs in the comfort of their own homes. Although it costs more than a traditional office visit, some mobile vets work hard to keep the costs affordable and it is at least worth checking out if a house call would make life easier for you or your pet. You can easily find out if there are any mobile vets in your area with a quick online search.