Banfield at PetSmart, feedback please! Anyone ever did the puppy plan?
Hello everyone, we are doing homework before we get the pup and wondering if anyone has any feedback on Banfield and the puppy plan for the first year.
I want to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly. I searched this forum and found a very old post that is no longer relevant to this.
(If this can't be posted, please PM me =)
We have several local clinics sending me an estimate on what an average year would be like with shots, neutering (if we do it at 1), check ups etc...
The reason Banfield even came up is because they are across the street from us, they are open late and on weekends, helps for full time jobs... Plus with the $450 plan for the year, I can bring him in for what ever reason or question I want with no office visit fee.
Allot is covered, and meds that are not covered... I used local pharmacy and 1800-PetMeds in the past and plan on doing so again.
Thank you all!!!
It depends on the vets at Banfield. I use the Banfield on Aurora here in Seattle and have nothing but praise for it. I have never had to wait for an appointment. The preventative care plan allowed for a very early detection of a previous dog's lymphoma which allowed for a treatment options and a very good 16 months after initial diagnosis of an aggressive cancer. The prices are very reasonable for Seattle and there are substantial discounts. I have not encountered any prejudice against GSD's or pitties. An added bonus is that none of my dogs fear going to the vet due to the location in PetSmart so it's not always a negative experience.
Here in Seattle we have a branch of PIMA which has an excellent Vet Tech program. Our Banfield has a lot of students and recent grads working there so they are really up to date on treatments and techniques. I would check the reviews on your local Banfield and try to meet the vets.
Some posters don't like the vaccination protocol. That is something to consider.
One thing that I have heard is that the vet at our location is great. We met a couple with a $5k show malamute and they go to him with her and love it. They told us that this vet used to see their wolf as well, yep a wolf! I assume that these people can afford to go to any vet and they come to PetSmart.
I am still trying to understand the vaccines thing. I heard about them giving separate shots in one appointment and not combining shots for dogs comfort, but not sure other then that.
I really like the six month check-ups. It keeps me honest and because it's a plan I never have to worry about coming up with the money for an appointment. I don't know much about the vaccines but none of my dogs have ever had any adverse effects. I've been a customer for 11 years.
I have had to use specialty vets for ortho and in-home euthanasia but I think that's pretty standard.
I started with them because they were within walking distance and that has been a real convenience.
I loved the plan....We live in Pa and have a home in N.j. (shore).
The vet we had in N.J. is our main vet and we really like him and his staff.
But we had a problem and had to use the Banfield in Pa. and we didn't like them as much.. Seemed to be more of a production line type of Vet.
We travel a lot and i like the fact that Banfield is everywhere we go. And nice to know we can get the care where ever we go.
But i have to agree with Blehmannwa that it depands on the Banfield..
It also depends on how you and your dog likes walking into a big store with other dogs, cats and shoppers...I'm not crazy about that..I like the small vets...haha.
But it is also really nice that i can get treats, etc while my girl is at the VET.
The fist year you save on shots, office visits and getting your dog spayed
or neutered on their plan but i'm not sure what i'm going to do when i have to renew..(They have alway been very nice to my dog.)
For me i've been pleased with their service. Good Luck.
blehmannwa, walking distance is for us as well.
JohnD, you brought up a good point, we travel by car. The dog is going where we go so it is nice that the plan is nationwide and all the records can be attained easy. As for the pet store and other dogs, my pup is not stepping on that floor until he is older! I am pretty sure I will be an over protective mom =)
It's not bad to be overprotective when it comes to high-traffic areas and puppies! Better to err on the side of caution than have a sick puppy.
I've personally liked my experiences with Banfield, and used them as my primary vet for a long time. The only reason I don't use them now is that I have a friend who is a vet and gives me a discount and a lot of freebies (I didn't ask for them and pay her back with pet sitting and similar favors!), so I use her now instead. But before, I always had good experiences.
I agree that I've never had a problem with breed prejudice, either with my GSD or with my ACDs who a lot of vets also don't like IME. One of my dogs is very stressed at the vet's office and prone to snapping, and they've always been great with him--some vets I've taken him to have freaked out and overreacted or blown me off when I warned them, but the Banfield vets and techs have always taken me seriously and followed my advice on how to handle him so that everyone has a good, safe experience. I really appreciated that immensely.
The preventative care plans can save you a lot of money, but be sure that you're comfortable with all of the included stuff. If you don't want something standard done, it may affect coverage in the future, from what I understand, or it used to anyway. It's not something I ran into myself, but I worked at Petsmart about 8-10 years ago and I heard about it then. Things might have changed, just be sure you ask about it if you see something that you don't want done.
And of course be aware that for serious problems you're going to have to go to a specialist, but that's true of most vets anyway. I do hear that the quality of the Banfield vets can vary by location which doesn't surprise me, but I've been to 3 different ones and was happy with all of them.
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