Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Albuquerque, NM
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.
The rowdy dogs:
Hector-2 y/o GSD (mix?) rescue
Scooter-12 y/o ACD/Border Collie mix
Bandit-8 y/o ACD
Wooby-14 y/o ACD
Abutiu "Abi"-ACD puppy and hopeful future SAR dog!