When pursuing a career as a veterinarian, you might assume that your only option is to work at a traditional clinic. There are tens of thousands of veterinary clinics in the United States where licensed veterinarians offer medical services for animals. After earning a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (DVM) — a four-year degree program — you can seek a job working at one of these clinics. An alternative career path, however, is mobile veterinary work.
What Is a Mobile Veterinarian?
Also known as a house call veterinarian, a mobile veterinarian is a licensed veterinarian who visits clients’ homes. Like all veterinarians, they diagnose, treat and prevent medical conditions in pets and animals. Mobile veterinarians don’t perform these services at a traditional clinic, though. Instead, they perform the services at the client’s home.
Convenience for Clients
Many clients prefer mobile veterinarians over traditional veterinarians because they are more convenient to use. To use a traditional veterinarian, a client must take his or her pet to the veterinarian’s clinic. To use a mobile veterinarian, on the other hand, a client simply needs to call and request the mobile veterinarian’s service. The mobile veterinarian will visit the client’s home to perform the requested service. It’s an easier and more convenient way for clients to obtain medical care for their pets.
Variety of Services
Because they are licensed veterinarians, mobile veterinarians can perform many of the same services as their brick-and-mortar-based counterparts. Many mobile veterinarians, in fact, work out of a large van or truck, which contains all their equipment and supplies. Here, they can perform veterinary services ranging from spaying and neutering to vaccines, dental cleanings, surgery and more.
Reduces Stress on Clients’ Pets
Another reason why mobile veterinarians have become so popular is because they reduce unnecessary stress and anxiety on clients’ pets. Not all pets enjoy car rides. While some view it as an enjoyable experience, others experience anxiety attacks the moment they step into a vehicle. For these overly anxious pets, a mobile veterinary can offer a pleasant experience that doesn’t require pets to ride in a vehicle.
In 2015, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) conducted a study to investigate the differences in how clients’ pets responded to mobile veterinary care versus that of a traditional clinic. Researchers found that pets experienced 11% to 16% higher blood pressure levels, pulse rates and temperatures when cared for at a brick-and-mortar clinic. As a result, anxiety-suffering pets often use the services of a mobile veterinarian.
Senior Pet Care
As pets age, they can become less mobile. Osteoarthritis, for example, is an age-related medical condition that restrict a pet’s mobility. It involves the gradual breakdown of cartilage in the joints. Cartilage is used to prevent the bones in a joint from touching, so as it degrades, it can lead to bone-on-bone contact. Therefore, senior pets who suffer osteoarthritis may experience pain when performing otherwise simple tasks like walking.
For senior pets in their “golden years,” a mobile veterinarian can help. Senior pets don’t have to leave the comfort and security of their home to receive their much-needed medical care. Instead, a mobile veterinarian can visit their home. It’s a gentler approach that places less physical, as well as emotional, stress on senior pets.
Disabled Pet Care
In addition to senior pets, mobile veterinarians can help care for disabled pets. Many dogs, cats and other pets suffer from a physical disability that prevents or restricts their ability to walk. Maybe a client’s dog was paralyzed in a car accident, or perhaps a client’s cat was born without a back leg.
Disabled pets can’t easily travel, so owners often use the services of a mobile veterinarian. Like with senior pets, it’s an easier and safer way for owners to obtain medical care for their pets than visiting a traditional clinic.
Larger Service Market
Mobile veterinarians operate out of a van or truck, so they can cover a larger geographic area than brick-and-mortar veterinarians. When working at a traditional clinic, veterinarians will be limited to attracting clinics in and around the geographic area where their clinic is located. Mobile veterinarians, however, have the freedom to move around from city to city. If a mobile veterinarian wants to test a new geographic area, he or she can drive to that area to market their veterinary services.
At the same time, mobile veterinarians benefit from free advertising while commuting to and from their clients’ homes. Nearly all mobile veterinarians drive vans or trucks featuring their practice’s name, logo and phone number. As they drive around, pet owners will see their mobile clinic’s brand displayed on their vehicle.
Mobile veterinarians are just like regular veterinarians, except they drive to clients’ homes to provide medical services for their pets and animals. They’ve become popular because they are easy to use, offer a variety of services, minimize stress on pets and are ideal for both senior and disabled pets.