Opinion on picking a vet who is also a friend/neighbor? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-13-2017, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Opinion on picking a vet who is also a friend/neighbor?

Hello! We have finalized on a puppy and will be getting him in 2 weeks! I am the in the process of researching veterinarians and would like some advice.

We have many in our area to pick from - some as close as 5-10 minutes away. I've heard great things about Banfield Pet Hospitals wellness program as well but a little further (15-20 minutes). The last option I am considering is a neighbor of ours. She is very passionate about her job (always working over time) and has great reviews online of her practice. However she is 35 minutes away. Not a deal breaker, but wondering if having a neighbor as a vet is too close for comfort or if it's a great option for someone we could ask a quick question on ('hey, what's this goop in his eye?') without having to drive 35 minutes if necessary.

My next door neighbor/friend uses our neighbor as her own vet for her cat and dog and says she is very flexible, answers questions all the time, and even offered to do their spaying/neutering at cost. I just don't want to take advantage of a delicate situation either.

Any advice here?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-13-2017, 04:47 PM
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I would chose the vet you are most comfortable within a limited distance from your home. Personally I wouldn't opt for a vet who is a 35 minute drive away, unless she is the only one you trust. I would interview several before you get your puppy.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-13-2017, 04:53 PM
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I'm personally not familiar with Banfield Pet Hospitals, but from these reviews...they wouldn't be somewhere I'd take my dog to! - https://www.consumeraffairs.com/pets...d.html?page=44 and https://www.google.com/search?site=&....0.pOTYJuf9TQs

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-13-2017, 05:39 PM
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Big NO from me on Banfield's corporate model of vet care:
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/featu...ns-to-your-pet

Those wellness plans are not a good investment IMHO. Instead, buy a real pet insurance plan (like Healthy Paws or Trupanion) that allows you to go ANY vet, and pays for big, expensive stuff (illness, injury). Cover the small stuff (wellness) on your own.

The biggest issue with a neighbor is self-restraint -- not wearing out your welcome when she's off duty. Unless she invites you to come by her house for goopy eyes, that's a big NO. However if your dog is choking and turning blue, she'll likely understand you interrupting her family barbeque to ask for help. The thing to remember is that their homes are their private spheres, and they deserve down time and boundaries, just as we all do from our jobs. Sometimes clients feel free to barge in on them at home for a "quick answer" free of charge....and that kind of sucks. They often work such long, stressful hours that they really need to be able to unplug and not be "on" -- it's one of the highest stress professions, with a massive depression and burn out rate, so making sure that you respect and value her down time, even though she might be right next door, is incredibly important.

If you like her and heard good things, then I would have an honest conversation about how she prefers to work, and how she sets her own boundaries with neighbors, so that you can be respectful of those. You'll stay good neighbors that way and convey that you appreciate her as a human, not just as a service provider.

Last edited by Magwart; 08-13-2017 at 05:43 PM.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-13-2017, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magwart View Post
Big NO from me on Banfield's corporate model of vet care:
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/featu...ns-to-your-pet

Those wellness plans are not a good investment IMHO. Instead, buy a real pet insurance plan (like Healthy Paws or Trupanion) that allows you to go ANY vet, and pays for big, expensive stuff (illness, injury). Cover the small stuff (wellness) on your own.

The biggest issue with a neighbor is self-restraint -- not wearing out your welcome when she's off duty. Unless she invites you to come by her house for goopy eyes, that's a big NO. However if your dog is choking and turning blue, she'll likely understand you interrupting her family barbeque to ask for help. The thing to remember is that their homes are their private spheres, and they deserve down time and boundaries, just as we all do from our jobs. Sometimes clients feel free to barge in on them at home for a "quick answer" free of charge....and that kind of sucks. They often work such long, stressful hours that they really need to be able to unplug and not be "on" -- it's one of the highest stress professions, with a massive depression and burn out rate, so making sure that you respect and value her down time, even though she might be right next door, is incredibly important.

If you like her and heard good things, then I would have an honest conversation about how she prefers to work, and how she sets her own boundaries with neighbors, so that you can be respectful of those. You'll stay good neighbors that way and convey that you appreciate her as a human, not just as a service provider.
Lol, okay sounds like Banfield is a no-go. Sounded liked the Kaiser of pet healthcare (nothing wrong with it, but I'm more of a PPO high maintenance health person myself.)

And I think you are right, it may get a little dicey... the drive is far. And as someone who is self employed myself (I'm a photographer) I actually prefer to NOT work with friends. Makes business tricky and I would never want to make someone feel uncomfortable. My neighbor is nice enough to where if my dog WAS blue in the middle of the night she'd help me anyway.

Thanks again!!
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-13-2017, 09:00 PM
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I would personally go to the neighbor vet but would take extra care to not bother her about work related things unless you are actually at an appointment. 35 minutes is not that far and most vets are not available 24/7 anyways so chances are you'd need to be aware of the closest emergency vet regardless of how far away the vet is. The vet I use is sort of a neighbor, more of a family friend, and because of this has really done some great things for my dogs. When my rescue GSD needed to be PTS she came over to my house to do it even though she does not do house calls (did not ask her to do this she offered it). She also used to treat the same dog in my van because she was terrified at any vet office and was comfortable in the van. I always do my best to let the vet know I appreciate it, send thank you cards and give good reviews whenever I can.
I know of a few people that used Banfield and really like them but their prices seem high and I would never go with a big corporate company like that for a vet.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-13-2017, 10:06 PM
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I would personally recommend the neighbor as your vet. I've heard various things about Banfield but many weren't good, my sister uses them as her vet and she said the people there seemed unorganized and slightly rude. They took her kitten out of the room to do her vaccinations and returned her saying she was all set...I found it odd that they brought the cat into a different room when there was no reason for it. With that aside, a lot of the Banfield veterinarians are good, but fresh out of vet school. This causes a lack of experience and judgement which is nobody's fault, just more comforting knowing your vet has experience and really enjoys what she does.
I don't think this would be a "too close for comfort" deal, I feel like it would actually be more comforting knowing if you had a serious question or an emergency occurs, you'll have someone close who can provide answers/help if needed (not expecting that of your neighbor but she's passionate about her job, I'm guessing she would be willing to help)

I hope this helps and congrats on the new puppy! Enjoy!
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-13-2017, 10:20 PM
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As someone who works at the grooming salon in a petsmart where a banfield is housed, I would not recommend them. Wellness plan is a load of crap. Find a good local vet you trust, not a chain vet practice. Sounds like the neighbor might be the way to go.

Best of luck with your new pup!
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-13-2017, 10:22 PM
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When I was a kid our neighbor was also our vet and it was kind of cool. I played with his kids. We only called him once in an emergency (that was many years before after hours emergency care existed for dogs) and always went to his clinic for routine care.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-13-2017, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much guys! Will consider the neighbor as an option! I do know she is passionate about her pets and may be nice to see her on walks regularly.
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