For Nervous Dogs and Cats, Vet House Calls Fit the Bill

July 14, 2010 | By Kris O'Donnell | Category: Care & Safety | 8 comments
Tags: care & safety, health & wellness, lifestyle & trends

A veterinarian who makes house calls? It’s true! In some areas across the U.S., mobile vets calm pet anxiety and provide stress-free care at home.

For many dogs and cats, a visit to the vet’s office can be scary and stressful which, in turn, can be stressful for pet parents. But that’s not the case for eleven-year-old Hannah. She’s an Old English sheepdog and she’s happy to see her veterinarian.

“She loves it. She sits right there,” says Hannah’s owner Maureen Bernstein. And that’s because Hannah’s vet, Dr. James Califf, comes to her.

“She knows his truck when it drives into the driveway,” Bernstein said. “She absolutely adores him.”

Dr. Califf has been making veterinary house calls since 1974. “I didn’t know of anybody else doing it at the time,” he says of his start in the business.

Now, According to the American Association of House Call and Mobile Veterinarians, there are nearly two hundred mobile vets working in 39 states.

Veterinarians who make house calls perform a variety of services, which include comprehensive annual exams, blood and wellness tests, and vaccinations.

“For the pet the biggest benefit would be less stress,“ Dr. Califf said. “There are some animals who don’t ride well in cars. There are other animals that get stressed out in the office itself with the smell of the other animals, or the noise, and being put up onto an exam table,” he says.

“This way you don’t have to put them in the car,” Bernstein says. “It’s not as traumatic putting them in a strange exam room. He comes right to the house and it’s great. “

Bernstein says Dr. Califf has been treating her pets since 1979. At the time, she had small children and says she learned of his services after a harrowing trip to the vet with the both the kids and the dog.

“When I came home a friend called and I was out of breath. She said ‘what’s wrong’ and I explained to her and she said her vet comes to the house,” Bernstein said. “That’s how I got his name and number and he’s been taking care of my dogs ever since.”

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Comments (8)

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Stephanie
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Stephanie
3 years ago

I would love to have a vet come to my house for my cats. They do not like to go in the carrier and hate riding in a car. My little kitten traveled very well, I hope that continues. My dog doesn't mind going to the vet at all.

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Ches21
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Ches21
3 years ago

With Skitters this would not work she even freaks out at home when we put her frontline on her or we give her a bath. I am diabetic and when I take my shots if she is watching she sees the needle and starts to shake and get really nervous then too. Shorty seems to like everyone and doesn't have a problem with the vet he would though if the vet were a man I have had him since he was a kitten and for some reason he is fearful of all men. As for Teddy she is so layed back that I don't think she has a problem with the vet either. Come to think of it Skitters is even nervous at the groomers. But I have heard of this idea before and I like it for the pets who need this excperince to be more calming. Also barnyard animals too it is easier if the vet comes up to the farm to see say a cow or a horse than if you were to bring the cow or the horse to the vet espicaily a clydesdale horse. Sorry if I spelled anything wrong.

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