Having a dog means that you have to worry about their health, just like you do the members of your human family. So it means you get to know your veterinarian, and the staff at your Animal Hospital, pretty well. Or at least you should.
Living in a rural area, we don’t have a lot of options for Animal Hospitals. One in each town it seems. Occasionally a second. Big box animal hospitals aren’t really an option, unless you want to drive a few hours. But, in my opinion, small town vets are the best. They really get to know you and your animals. The service is more personable, not a box plan, one size fits all approach to animal health care. And at most of the animal hospitals around here, there are only one or two vets per practice, so you usually get to know them all. Although there is one animal hospital in the area that has started to go in this direction. They keep losing the vets they hire for this reason, too.
Recently, I came across this article on the “Big Business of Animal Hospitals”. It’s a real eye-opener. Especially if you use an Animal Hospital chain, and don’t have the same veterinarian every time you go. It really reaffirms my beliefs that the small town veterinarians are the best.
To sum it up, it’s a look at how Franchise and Chain Animal Hospitals are destroying/buying out small independent animal hospitals and veterinarian practices, and then pushing their veterinarians to sell more services. And not always in the best interest of the animals themselves. To them, it’s become a game of numbers, sales quotas, and profits.
How to we, the general public, fight this? We get informed. Do your research! Know when and how often your dog needs, by new standards, their vaccinations. Don’t let your veterinarian push you into unnecessary medical treatments. Or wellness plans that are one-size-fits- all, and don’t take into consideration the age of the dog. If you think they’re pushing for something that your animal doesn’t really need, get a second opinion. Just like you would if you questioned the treatment of a human family member.
And above all, if you can, avoid the big chain animal hospitals and find a veterinarian you like and trust with an independent practice.