Cost is something we’re all conscious of. Most of us don’t consider only the price of something but look for value in a combination of quality, service, and price. The same is true in caring for our pets. We love our furry friends and want to take good care of them–but we don’t have limitless budgets. How can we best compare the value of veterinary care between veterinarians, hospitals and practices–and not just their prices?
Determining the Value of Veterinary Care
As pet owners, we know that pet care costs have increased. Most of us probably don’t really understand WHY–just that it costs more than it used to. Part of the reason is today’s advanced medical options available for pets and higher expectations for their care.
We all want skilled professionals, advanced veterinary services, surgical expertise, the latest equipment, and continuing education from the hospital that is caring for our pets. Unless you’re a medical professional, though, it may be hard for you to judge the quality of your veterinarian’s or veterinary hospital’s medical care.
Most of us look around for other clues in order to judge whether we’re getting good value. What should you look for in determining the value of your pet’s care?
The Important ‘Why’
If possible, look at a hospital’s values and whether they translate into how the hospital is run. Do they invest their time, money and practices based on their values? A hospital whose highest focus is on sales and profits is going to be run differently than one whose focus is on the health and well being of the animals it cares for.
The team here at Union Lake Veterinary Hospital is very clear on our ‘why’. Core values include:
- The love of animals and our desire to keep them healthy and happy as long as humanly possible.
- The belief that pets are family and each animal should be treated with respect. We treat each animal as if it were our own.
At the core, we believe in respect for each animal. We invest in the kind of care we believe in and translate our beliefs into every aspect of our work with pets, clients and our business. For example,
- Staff – we hire compassionate, well-trained doctors and staff who share our beliefs and values.
Individuality – we schedule longer appointments to answer your questions and treat each animal individually (vs. cookbook care).
- Low-Stress Handling – we employ low-stress techniques to make veterinary visits more enjoyable for pets–not filled with anxiety and dread because we overpower their fear to save time.
- Holistic and alternative therapies – we want to give pets both traditional and alternative treatment options.
- Diagnostics and Equipment – we invest in providing advanced diagnostics and the best equipment for your pet’s care.
- Facility – we’ve designed our new hospital expansion to be even less stressful for dogs and cats.
- Cat-only rooms designed especially with cat-friendly features
- Direct access to exam rooms allows anxious pets to skip the lobby
- Direct access for end-of-life pets
- Detroit Dog Rescue – we work closely with DDR to help heal and treat stray and abused dogs to give them a chance for better lives.
- Community – we offer several free community events each year aimed at connecting with our pet-loving neighbors.
We hope our level of care and compassion always shines through. You should expect that in your veterinary hospital. You should be able to sleep easier knowing that your vet is invested in your pet’s medical care and quality of life.
Service and Convenience
Another area to look for in determining the value provided by a veterinary hospital or practice is its commitment to service and convenience for its clients.
While your pet is the patient, you want to know that the hospital values you as their client. We try to treat our clients like valued family members. And we’re all busy so we believe in making your pet care tasks a little easier. Ways that ULVH adds value for our pet parents include:
- Visits available more days (7 days a week) and hours (until 8pm)
- Online booking for round-the-clock booking convenience
- More payment methods – credit cards, CareCredit, ScratchPay, and direct-pay pet insurance
- Communication options
- Medical care, pet services, and pet rehab all in one location
- A strong commitment to cleanliness and protecting the health of animals in our care.
- A personalized touch
- Friendly, efficient service by everyone on our team
- Staff knowledge and longevity (average is over 10 years)
- Cost-saving wellness package bundles
- Optional overnight medical care (to avoid costly critical care)
No matter how good a hospital is, a lack of concern for clients and their needs equals poor value.
Empowering Pet Owners Through Education
Along with essential veterinary services, a big part of adding value is through education and empowerment. Your veterinary hospital should take the extra time to clearly answer your questions and provide instructions for at-home care. This gives you the tools to make informed choices and provide excellent care to your pet.
ULVH understands how much your pet means to you, and by empowering you with information and education, your pet will reap the rewards. You will also develop a stronger bond with your four-legged companion.
The True Value of Veterinary Care
We hope this gives you a better understanding of how to judge the value of veterinary care compared to its cost. A quality veterinary hospital or practice may cost a little more in order to deliver the best care and value for you and your pet.
We are always happy to answer any questions about our services, the value of care, and our costs. We respect your questions, always. Please do not hesitate to call us!