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Here's Why All Pet Owners Need to Avoid Chain Vets & Find An Independent Veterinary Practice

Corporate control of veterinary care is not a good thing for our pets or for our wallets. Mars Pet Care, which already owns Banfield, has now purchased the VCA vet hospital chain. An explosive article in Bloomberg Business Week goes into detail on the questionable practices of these types of vet clinics, including unnecessary vaccine schedules and testing, as well as conflicts of interest, and how they adversely affect our pets' health as well as our pocketbooks. Here's a link to the article. It's long, but well worth reading: The High Cost, High Risk World of Corporate Pet Care

For a shorter summary of the article, here's a link to Bark Magazine's brand new article on this: 

Pet Health Care Monopoly

Please share this with every dog owner you know.

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Amen. I saw this and it made me sad and angry.

Me too!! 

My neighbors use Banfield services. I have ever so gently, and unsuccessfully,  tried to get them to change.  Now I can send them this article to back up my persuasive.

Thanks so much for this Karen, this is horrifying and so sad. :-(

My former vererinary hospital sold to Banfield over 10 years ago. It was horrible. I was so grateful when my favorite vet was able to go our on his own!

I took my cat in for an injured tail at Banfield and they tried to sell me the insurance for a year and told me about all the additional benefits it had. I said I would think about it and just to treat the tail. I didn't sign anything for the insurance or other work, only the tail. When I came back they had already performed a bunch of unnecessary procedures that were part of the yearly plan. It raised my bill so much that I just paid for the insurance.

Now that I look back on it, I should have fought them on it. But at the time I just wanted my cat to get better and was worried they would not take as good care of him if I fought it.

I will never take any pet back there again.

That's awful. 

My daughter had problems with them with her cat. They messed up a surgery and made the cat in worse condition. To fix it was an extra $3000 worth of surgery. She fought it with them, nothing through the courts. But they wouldn't comp the surgery they messed up on. She never went back and screams from the highest mountain(she is in Colorado) to anyone that will listen, not to take your animals to Banfield.

Our vet was recently bought out by a bigger company and they didn't announce it. I noticed some changes at an appointment where they were suggesting more expensive tests etc. I did the research and found out what had happened. I promptly found a local vet that has been here for a long time and is the sweetest, gentlest man and his staff as well. 

Thanks for the article. 

I'm glad you were able to find a new vet you like!

Thanks for this information! I am so happy I was able to find a wonderful vet in Michigan when we moved. I knew then to stay away from Banfield.

You can't generalize that corporate-owned centers are necessarily worst.  The sellers to these companies themselves may be a bit more interested in the Almighty $$$ so even had they not sold out, they may have pursued the same practices.

I use a local, independent hospital (at least I THINK it is independent....LOL) and that's my personal choice. But the local Petco in my area has Sunday vaccinations for people who want to save a few $$$ or just don't have a vet as close to them as I do.   I see 15-20 people waiting on a line at the back of the store virtually every Sunday.  The lines continue for a few hours I am pretty sure.

In theory, corporate-owned vet centers would save $$$ on insurance, billing, SG&A, administrative, etc.  So it's not ALL bad.

Yes, tests can be done that are somewhat superfluous or excessive.  But sometimes, better safe than sorry, no ?  Imagine a vet not doing a test where the odds are 3:1 against your pet having a problem....10:1......100:1....and then your dog gets very sick and costs you alot of $$$ -- or dies.  Then what ? Same problem with human medicine where you are sometimes damned if you do and damned if you don't with tests and services.



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