DENVER – Sometimes the worst part about taking your furry friend to the vet is getting them into a carrier so you can drive them there. A California company aims to eliminate that with its on-demand veterinarian house call service.
VetPronto is available in a handful of major cities and will be launching in Denver next week.
The service utilizes a team of mobile veterinarians who can come to your home for things like checkups, vaccines and treatment of injuries and illnesses.
Pet owners can schedule a house call by phone or using the service’s mobile app, and veterinarians are available throughout the day, including evenings and weekends.
Co-founder Katherine Van Ekert, a veterinarian herself, said the service is easier on pets and owners alike. Visits to the vet can be stressful, and that can make it difficult to perform diagnostics on an animal, Van Ekert said. That’s because blood pressure, heart rate and other vital signs can be elevated when the pet is under stress.
The stress of visiting the vet can often lead to pet owners avoiding it altogether and Van Ekert said VetPronto seems to be filling a need. They’re seeing pets at about twice the rate they would typically see at a traditional clinic, Van Ekert said. They’re also seeing pets who have never been to a vet clinic.
“There’s obviously a lot of pets out there not getting the care they need,” Van Ekert said.
There are some services that can’t be taken care of at home. Van Ekert said any kind of procedure that requires sedation or anesthesia still has to be done in a traditional clinic setting.
But for more routine procedures, VetPronto can avoid the hassle and wait times associated with going to the vet. Van Ekert said they offer about 90 percent of what you’ll get at a traditional veterinarian.
Unsurprisingly, having a veterinarian come to your home can be more expensive than a traditional clinic, but Van Ekert said that for complex treatments or procedures that require a lot of diagnostic testing, the price difference doesn’t end up being that much. Van Ekert added that bloodwork and other testing that is sent to an outside lab is usually the same price or less than what you’d pay elsewhere.
VanEkert said her company has partnered with a veterinarian in Denver who’s already been performing house calls for some time now, and they plan to launch on Monday, Feb. 6.