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(Moderators - please move if post should be in Health/Wellness area)

My family will be welcoming a new puppy to our home over the weekend.
Needless to say, as we plan for our new arrival, we've been spending A LOT of time at PetsMart lately. We've been to three or four different stores, but realized today that the store we'll frequent most often has a vet's office inside.

Just wondered if anyone out there has used the vet services inside the stores? With gas prices the way they are, it might be a time/gas/money saver to hit the vet's each time we go to PetsMart (or vice versa), but I'm curious if the level of service would be the same as from a stand-alone office.

The vet we go to now is one we were assigned to after our regular vet retired, so there's no emotional attachment. Plus, it seems like we can never get out of his office for less than $200 so I'd love to find something a little more reasonable.
 

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I've worked in veterinary practices as a technician for 10 years. Sadly, I've heard nothing but bad things about the veterinarians at Petsmart. Not to say that this is the case for all of them, but I'd be cautious. Nothing wrong with going there for routine vaccinations I guess, but I definately wouldn't take my pet there for any illnesses or surgeries. Don't know if there are a lot of vets in your area, but I would recommend going to a practice that has been accredited by AAHA (American Animal Hospital Assoication). They have very strict standards of care and equipment that must be followed by the practice and this shows that you and your pet are getting a higher standard of care.
 

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I think it's all about the individual vet and not necessarily the company they work for.

I would try it and if you like the vet, then stick with it. I have met a few good and bad vets everywhere, including Petsmart.

As far as it being cheaper I'm not so sure, but it may help by only having to make one stop.
 

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Finding a good vet that you are happy with can be really difficult, especially if you don't have a lot of choices in your area. If you are able to, try dropping in to local vet offices during not-so-busy hours and see if you can talk to the vet to get an idea of what the clinic is like and whether you feel comfortable there.

It's almost like having a good relationship with your own primary care physician - having one that is knowledgeable and where you feel comfortable does make a difference in whether you dread vet visits or whether you're constantly second-guessing what they said (ie, whether you're comfortable with their level of knowledge and experience), or whether you dread each visit and each talk.

When we had our first foster dog, Max, we took him to the local Banfield, which is the vet clinic inside Petsmart, for our first vet visit. I was not at all happy with the clinic and we did not go back. The staff were rude and it seemed very assembly-line without much thought to the individual client and their needs. That particular one was also really pushing annual vaccinations, which made me uncomfortable.
 

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What services do they offer?
What hours?
What about emergencies?
What type of equipment (whatever that is called) do they have?
Is this the type of place where, if you have a relationship, they will allow you to choose your vet?
Same, but if it is something very expensive, will they let you pay in installments?
Where do they commonly refer dogs for specialty needs?
Do they have an in-house lab?

I'd just ask the same questions of any vet office. I think this is for kids! but may be helpful: http://www.avma.org/careforanimals/animatedjourneys/aboutvets/aboutvets.asp
 

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We took Cash to a PetSmart vet's office when he fainted on a Saturday afternoon and all other vets were closed. The people there were very kind and compassionate and very good with him. When he was diagnosed with a severe heartworm infestation, they quoted me about $1000 for the HW treatment. I ended up having it done at my regular vet for about $350.

I am very thankful to them for being open when I needed them and so helpful when Cash was hurting, but there's no way I'd go there on a regular basis. Too expensive.
 

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Don't! I have 2 of my four dogs on the wellness program and as soon as it expires I will not renew. I truly believe that all of those shots they tell you that the dog needs is why I am having so much trouble with allergies in these two dogs - their immune system is down because of all of these shots. The other two dogs have no problems and one of those is a littermate to one of the allergy dogs.

I've gotten good vet care but the prices are way inflated.
 

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The petsmart by me is wonderful.

People shouldn't be labeling petsmart, it goes by vhe vet at each. Just like any other vet office. Personal preference.

Take your dog there once and see how they are, decide for yourself.
 
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