Health & Wellness

Find A Mobile Vet: How To Find Local Veterinarians That Make House Calls

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By Kristie

Do you have trouble getting your dog into the car?  Or maybe you don’t have transportation at all at the moment. 

Does your dog get carsick or anxious on car rides?

Are you making multiple trips to the veterinarian because you have more than one pet?  Or maybe it’s just difficult to get all of your dogs into the car and to the vet at the same time. 

Perhaps you’re just too darned busy to take your dog to the vet right now. It can take a good deal of time and energy to load your dog into the car, drive to the facility, and deal with all of the strange dogs (and people) who happen to be there when you arrive.

For these reasons (and many more), a mobile vet might be just the solution you’ve been looking for.

A mobile vet can pretty much do the same things that a veterinary clinic can do, but they make housecalls instead!

In this article, you will learn:

  • How to find a mobile vet near you
  • What receiving pet care from a house call vet is like
  • Which services mobile vets perform
  • How much house call vets typically charge
  • Differences between mobile veterinarians and office veterinarians

Vets that make house calls are caregivers on wheels… For many, they’re lifesavers!

What A Mobile Vet Is Like

Mobile vets (or house call vets) have been around forever, although the regular brick & mortar clinics are certainly more prevalent and well known.

Mobile veterinarians are licensed and must have their facilities (“clinic on wheels”) inspected regularly — just like a regular vet clinic does.

A house call vet might work out of a modified vehicle (like a van, truck, or motorhome), a home office, or someplace else where animals are treated or kenneled.

The services that a mobile vet provides run the gamut from conducting neighborhood clinics for spay and neuter services to bringing state of the art equipment to your door for full-service pet care — and everything in between.

Most offer routine vaccinations, bloodwork, wellness exams, nail trims, and the like.

Depending on where you live (how far away from the nearest town you are), you might need to go to a regular animal hospital for certain illnesses, injuries, or surgeries. That said, some mobile vets these days have large modified vehicles with all the bells and whistles — digital imaging, equipment for surgeries, and more.

Emergencies (especially after hours) might be referred to your local emergency animal clinic — but a good number of mobile vets do respond to emergencies as well.

These are the services that most mobile veterinarians provide:

  • Physical Exam
  • Vaccinations
  • Bloodwork
  • Microchipping
  • Spay & Neuter Surgeries
  • Dental Cleaning
  • Nail Trims
  • Anal Gland Expression
  • Heartworm Testing
  • Deworming
  • Pain Management
  • End of Life Care

Veterinary Offices vs. Mobile Vets

There are advantages and disadvantages to both veterinary clinics and mobile vets — for both the patient and the doctor.

A veterinary clinic can see many more clients in a day’s time and usually has set working hours, but must maintain an office and staff.  There is usually at least a modest lab and x-ray equipment on-site, and most clinic doctors will be able to handle any emergency.

A house call vet sees fewer patients in a day, maintains an office-on-wheels, but can have a more flexible schedule and smaller staff (if any at all).

My mom answers the phones for a mobile vet in the Nashville area. She started her business over 20 years ago when her children were very small, and the cost of starting up a regular clinic was very large. She found the flexibility of her mobile vet schedule made raising young children much more manageable.  And being in the Nashville area, she cares for the animals of several Country Music stars… so my mom occasionally gets to speak to some pretty famous pet owners!

Aside from the convenience of not having to take your dog to the vet’s office, one advantage to your pet being treated in his own home is reduced stress — for the dog and for you!

There’s also an advantage for the veterinarian, who has an opportunity to see firsthand what your pet’s living environment is like.  This could help explain specific allergies or behaviors, for example. A mobile vet will also be able to see your pet acting more normally, without the distractions or interruptions that can occur in an office setting.

Mobile Vet Fees

Prices for services provided by mobile vets vary — just like prices at regular brick-and-mortar vet clinics do.

One thing to note is the fact that some mobile vets charge a flat rate “per trip” for services rendered, whether they’re treating one pet or more on that particular visit.  So if you have one dog or a whole kennel of pets, the per-visit charge would be the same.  Of course fees for vaccinations, fecal checks, meds, etc. would be added to that (just like at the vet’s office) — but mobile vet services can be a pretty sweet deal if you have 2 or more animals!

What is the cost difference between going to a vet clinic and having a vet clinic come to you?

A mobile vet appointment may be a little bit higher than an office visit — to cover travel expenses and the time spent in between appointments.

But, the return on this investment is:

  • Less stress for the dog (and for you)
  • An exam that also includes a more natural observation of the dog in its own familiar surroundings
  • Often, a more extensive visit with the veterinarian

The bottom line is a mobile vet might cost a little more — so it’s up to you to determine if that price is worth it for the convenience and peace of mind you get in return.

My Experience Using Mobile Vets

If we didn’t live out in the sticks, we’d definitely take advantage of a mobile vet service more often for routine pet care.

The times we were able to have a house call, we appreciated not only the convenience but the more personal attention. 

There’s another plus…

Since it’s difficult for my husband to get out much, by utilizing the services of a mobile veterinarian we can both be involved in our dog’s care and make on-the-spot decisions together.

In the event that you’ve been holding off adopting a dog because it would be tough for you to get him to the veterinary clinic, you may want to check out the mobile vets in your area.  It might be the happy solution you’re looking for!

Find A Mobile Vet Near You

The best way to find a mobile vet in your area is to check online using VetLocator.

If there happens to be more than one located near you, then I would ask for personal opinions at your local vet’s office or animal shelter. Word of mouth and personal referrals go a long way in my book.

Some mobile vets offer after-hours emergency treatments for pets as well.

If you need veterinary services for a pet emergency during the evening or on a weekend, here’s how to find an after-hours vet clinic.