PetSmart Animal Hospital Question

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Brandy
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PetSmart Animal Hospital Question

Postby Brandy » Wed Apr 09, 2008 1:19 pm

As the title suggest I would like to ask if there is anyone here that has any first hand knowledge of "The Banfield Animal Hospital" in the PetSmart stores?

A PetSmart has opened not far from me, and they will be opening their animal hospital towards the end of the month. They will be offering a program called The Wellness Project which is something like "health insurance" for dogs & cats except that they state that is not what it is. But this is how it would work for my guys; Initial down payment $69.95 for 1st. pet, $54.95 for each additional pet, plus $19.95 per pet monthly.
What I get for that amount of money would be;
Twice yearly check ups
Fecal testing
Deworming
Heartworm testing
Anti Heartworm meds.
Vaccines covering a total of 11 known deceases
And a guarantee that if the pet should become sick with a decease that it was vaccinated for by them will be treated up to $1000.
This really sounds good to me, especially since I currently do not have a vet for my animals. Reason being that we moved here 2 years ago, and have not chosen a vet yet. I did take them to Petco for their shots, and such, and thank God they have been healthy..

So if anyone can help me out with some experience I would greatly appreciate it. Hubby thinks it is to expensive, I don't think so. To me $296 per dog per year is nothing compared what the above would cost at the neighborhood vets. Am I wrong?

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formaximus
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Postby formaximus » Wed Apr 09, 2008 1:23 pm

Maximus has been on the puppy wellness since he was 8 weeks old, they have been amazing. They always treat Maximus and I very well, look out for anything that they know could be a problem with his breed.

The best thing is that neutering is also included which saves you a TON of money and the meds discount is quite nice too.

I highly recommend it to everyone I know.

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*leenie*
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Postby *leenie* » Wed Apr 09, 2008 1:24 pm

I have this for Ginger and Kittie. Its a great deal!
All the office visits are free, and theres no limit on the free visits either. And you get discounts on all vet care cause you have the wellness plan. Its saves a lot of money if you add it all up. Just on ginger we've saved over 6 grand in 5 years

msvette2u

Postby msvette2u » Wed Apr 09, 2008 1:27 pm

So it's like, $70/year??

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iluvmypithannah
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Postby iluvmypithannah » Wed Apr 09, 2008 1:31 pm

Hannah has been there since she was 8 weeks old too. I LOVE it...my enrollment was $99.95 and $21.95 a month. When she's a year I'll upgrade to the plan that includes the annual teeth cleaning.

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Roxers
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Postby Roxers » Wed Apr 09, 2008 1:34 pm

Well.. that's a total of $309.35 for the first year. Pricing varies between vets, but lets say an annual visit is $150. That includes vaccines, heartworm test, fecal exam. A year's worth of Heartworm preventative is usually around $100 (at the vet I work for anyway). So we're at $250. Add in the extra yearly checkup office fee ($40? it varies a lot between vets.) So you are close to what the program costs... especially if heartworm preventative costs more where ever you would buy it normally. And then the next year would only cost $240. I think your best bet is to call around and check prices with other local vets, or the vet you are already going to and add it up to see if you will save a lot of money this way.

I have heard some bad things about a few Banfield practices. But I have heard good things too. I don't have any experience with them personally. They are a big company with clinics all over the US. They pay decently and have pretty good benefits, so they attract some good vets.

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Postby tia_leigha » Wed Apr 09, 2008 2:07 pm

I dont like how they do surgeries right in front of the window. As a kid... I remembered Beethoven- and how the vet was mean..and animals were put to sleep there. I was scared of them vet too when my parents had to take my dog in.


The other day I was dropping off a friends dog to get groomed..and in the Banfield window I see them injecting the Ketamine into the dogs vein to put it under for surgery.

If you know what they are doing its fine, but if you were a 5 year old... It looks like the dog just had a shot..and was PTS. I watched the dog go down and everything..right in front of the window.. And if something were to go wrong? It just seems weird.. Like a Marble Slab/Vet clinic...watch them work..


As far as the vets there- they seem to have decent prices and probably good educations... I cant say much . I use the vet my Mom works at.

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deedeesmom
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Postby deedeesmom » Wed Apr 09, 2008 2:35 pm

The banfield here doesn't have that. You cant see anything at all for the vet's portion. Now the groomers do have that window so you can see how they groom a dog.

midnightcowgirl86
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Postby midnightcowgirl86 » Wed Apr 09, 2008 3:03 pm

I use to work for a Banfield in houston, personally i think they are great. I have all 3 of my dogs on a wellness plan.

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Misskiwi67
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Postby Misskiwi67 » Wed Apr 09, 2008 10:12 pm

Ask if you can refuse the excessive vaccinations (OR get the dental vaccine and request free dentals HAHA!)

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Kingsgurl
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Postby Kingsgurl » Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:32 pm

The one where I am does 3 year vaccines. I don't find that excessive. I will say this, they are a chain (and, BTW, NOT owned by PetSmart) so they can have a variation in the vets available at locations near you. I am lucky, since the Banfield in the PetSmart I work at has a Banfield that is actually franchise owned by one of the best vets I've met. I've also seen some pretty poor vets at other locations and some good vets at even others. SO, I suggest you (as you would in choosing ANY vet) talk to the vet and the staff and see how you like them.
I had Martin's surgery done at a Banfield location (they had a board certified Ortho Surgeon come in) and I couldn't have been happier with the care, the level of expertise, follow up (and results!)
The Wellness plan IS one hell of a deal.

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ssontag
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Postby ssontag » Thu Apr 10, 2008 6:21 am

I have been to several vets and finally ended up at Banfield when I took Scrappy in (he had mange). I absolutely love the vet, one of the most knowledgable vets I have seen. I am not on the wellness plan yet but probably soon will be. I would have saved a ton of money. Not only do you get the shots & everything else you mentioned, you also get discounts on any other vet visits.

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Misskiwi67
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Postby Misskiwi67 » Thu Apr 10, 2008 6:34 am

Roxers wrote: They pay decently and have pretty good benefits, so they attract some good vets.


They also attract a lot of vet students who have had difficulties finding jobs and get desperate. I'm going to a great clinic for 65grand starting salary, and a friend of mine (who really will be a good vet) just got a job in houston, which somehow has a lower cost of living for 90grand. Every unemployed member of my class who heard that suddenly started thinking Banfield didn't sound quite so bad.

The problem I have with Banfield is that its cookie-cutter medicine and encourages vets to cover their butts instead of thinking. If you just have general problems, thats GREAT because nothing gets left out and you get top notch care as long as top notch is to do everything possible (pretty much everything except vaccines)... but if you have something out of the ordinary, you may or may not have a vet who's lost their "think outside the box" training.

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Misskiwi67
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Postby Misskiwi67 » Thu Apr 10, 2008 6:38 am

I will also add that not all vets have to follow the cookie-cutter routine. If the clinic is owned by the vet and just uses the franchise name, it works like every other clinic where the clinic is as good as its veterinary staff. There are some GREAT Banfields out there, but there are also some that make me shudder, just like all the rest of the clinics in the US. Banfields are not created equal just because they all have the same name.

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Postby IamNicki » Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:27 am

Tyson goes to Banfield. I love it! I chose it because I met the vet and staff there one day while I was there with my friend and her dog and they seemed really great! I also chose them because I had bad experiences with my grandmother dog and my cats (don't have them anymore) at other area vets. I am sure that not all of them are great, but the one by me is.


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