I’ll admit to being woefully ignorant and making bad and uniformed decisions for my Louie plenty of times (i.e. thinking that raw would be bad for him, thinking that kibble is better for cleaning teeth, etc.), but I’m afraid that choosing Banfield and their Optimum Wellness Plan might have been the worst decision yet…
I just feel that they make up for the savings in office visits, etc. by hiking up the prices for every single other thing NOT covered on the plan. For instance, I’ve been wanting to get Louie neutered. It would cost me about $400 at Banfield to get him neutered. OUCH. They’re also more expensive for typical grooming. A nail grind costs about $5 more at Banfield than at the ADJOINING Pet Smart Grooming salon, same with anal gland expression, etc.
I had Louie on a HW preventative from another vet (Quadriguard) which they had never heard of. Fine, that is 100% a-okay. There are so many HW pills out there, I’m sure, and I’m sure there’s just no way that you’d know the names and properties of every single one of them. BUT they clearly never looked it up or asked me to take it in so they could see what it was/what it covered. There are wormers in Quadriguard already but they kept having me give him wormers (after him testing negative for heartworms). They also kept asking me if I wanted to put him on a HW preventative even though I’d told every single one of the vet techs and both of the vets that I already have him protected.
I’ve read a lot recently about how people find Banfield as a corporation to be sub-par as far as veterinary work is concerned and that they’re quite money-grubbing and a total rip-off. I’m starting to see a little bit of this in them but I DO like my vet and Louie seems to really like her. She’s very kind, approachable, and seems to have her heart in the right place. I don’t know, though, that she’s technically great at her job, purely from a medical standpoint. I really don’t know that I know how to tell, though… she does seem to be more than willing and ready to hand out medications (free or not) for Louie and I don’t know that I like that.
Do any of you have good or bad experiences with Banfield? I just can’t help but notice that reviews by their customers are simply overwhelmingly bad. I don’t know, maybe I’m just being paranoid and seeing things that aren’t there because of the negativity from others.
I’d love to hear your feedback! I’m trying to find a holistic vet, but it’s proving to be kind of a pain in the butt (my dog gets incredibly carsick so commuting to the vet is a hard one-whereas PetSmart is within walking distance from my house). Thanks guys!
I guess I wonder what kind of vet school graduate would want to work in what is essentially a chain store. The only answer I can come up with is; the ones that can’t get a job elsewhere.
The thing about giving you more wormers, I totally understand. Testing negative for heartworms doesn’t have anything to do with intestinal worms, which is what they gave you wormer for. A lot of vets will give wormer preventively for very young pups, because it doesn’t take very many worms to become a big problem for such a small animal. The wormers in the Quadriguard may be dosed to prevent reinfection, but not dosed to wipe out an active infection and they may need to be repeated at a different interval than once monthly.
$400 for a neuter is a bit much to pay for convinience, which is what you are paying extra for on everything else.
AH I always do this, I keep calling worms heartworms and not clarifying that I mean all worms. He tested negative for heartworms AND intestinal parasites when they gave him the wormer. I understand to a certain extent what their thought process is but it’s just really hard for me to believe that all of that is necessary.
I will continue to go to Banfield for now because there are certainly things that they provide through their plan that are expensive pretty much everywhere else (any routine testing; ear swabs, blood tests, urine tests, stool tests, etc., dental cleaning, the comprehensive exam, etc.) all for $39.99/month, which is not *bad*. But I am looking into other options for Louie for the future.
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