Yahoo News posted an article last Tuesday about the growing trend of using veterinarians who make house calls over traditional vets. I personally found the article interesting, mostly due to the fact that, for a couple of weeks now, I've had an add for a vet that makes house calls displayed on my refrigerator.
Anyways, with my dog's yearly check up fast approaching, the idea of a vet who makes house calls intrigued me. Apparently, according to the Yahoo article, I'm not the only one. The article reports that vets who make house calls rather than working in a traditional veterinarian clinic are a growing trend. There are many reasons why having the vet come to your pet may be beneficial.
Although my own dog luckily doesn't mind a visit to the vet, there are many animals who do not share his opinions. For may pets, visiting the vet can be a very stressful and scary experience. Having your vet attend to your pet in the comfort of his/her own home can help to reduce a lot of that stress. While many animals probably still won't enjoy getting their vaccinations and check up, having their vet care for them in a familiar, stress free environment can help strengthen the bond between the animal and his/her vet.
House calls may be less stressful for owners as well. Instead of having to load up your pet to take him/her to the vet, the vet comes to you. That means no worrying about how your furry friend handles car rides, or spending time in his/her carrier. It means not having to expose your pet to other animals, some of which may be sick. House calls can be a life saver for owners who may not have a car or regular transportation, as is the case with many city dwellers. Pets are not always allowed on public transit, and as the Yahoo article points out, not all cab drivers will stop for a person with a pet.
Probably the biggest down side to using a veterinarian who makes house calls is the fact that most of them charge higher prices than your typical vet. If you think about it, it makes sense, since vets who make house calls are most likely not able to see as many patients in a day. They have to spend more of their time traveling to people's homes, which, with the price of gas these days, can be expensive in itself.
For owners who want to take advantage of these unique types of vets, but maybe want to reduce the cost, they could consider using vets who make house calls in certain situations while still frequenting a regular vet other times. Owners can use their judgment on what situations would best be handled in their homes, and when a house call might be more warranted. Keep in mind that not all vets will be able to fully treat all conditions from your home. Things like X-rays, and surgery are, understandably, usually not able to be done in owner's homes.
At home euthanasia is becoming more and more popular. While it's not something most pet owners enjoy thinking about, many of us will eventually have to face the realities of our beloved pet's death. Having your pet put to sleep at your own home may be able to help make a very sad time a bit more comfortable, for both pets and their owners. Ailing pets can leave this world surrounded by not only the people who loved them, but by any fellow animals in the home as well as familiar surroundings. Even for owners who don't regularly use a house call veterinarian, having their pets euthanized at home can add a level of comfort to your pets final moments that a regular vet clinic may not be able to provide.
I'm interested in what other pet guardians think about veterinarians who make house calls. Have you ever used one, or is it something you would consider? In what situations would you consider it? As for me, for now I think I'll probably stick with my dogs regular vet. Especially considering the fact that, so far, my dog actually seems to enjoy going to the vet. However, I'm not going to take that add off my fridge just yet. Although I've never tried it before, I think having a vet visit my home is definitely something I'd consider in the future.