Charlotte, North Carolina
4.6K views
9 comments

I have worked as a "PetNurse" for Banfield for almost a year and a half now. In that time that I have been there, I have seen many of the things everyone on here is talking about. Granted, every hospital is different, just like a private practice..

When I was hired, I had zero experience in the veterinary field, I was trained on the job and perform the duties equivalent to a veterinary technician. Although I am currently in school to get my degree and license as a veterinary technician, then I was not.

Secondly, yes Banfield is a business. After every day, all of the DVMS check to see how much money they made and what their "APC" is or the average price the clients paid..which should be over $100. Their goal is to make you spend over 100 each and every visit. Also, they check how many people signed up on the Wellness Plans that day. There are daily goals for that as well. I recently signed a contract from corporate that essentially told me I had to have a certain percentage of clients on the Wellness Plans, or I risk my employment.

Yes, the prices are very high. Yes, the doctors usually are fresh out of vet school. Yes, most Banfield's only offer routinely done surgeries because most of the vets ARE new and cannot perform them. Some surgeries are not even performed in vet schools for the DVMS to have practice doing.

Yes, their quota is that if you are a new client and your pet is healthy, you should go on a Wellness Plan. In all honesty, they do save you some money BUT THEY DO NOT COVER EVERYTHING AND ARE DEFINITELY NOT INSURANCE!!!! You people need to READ the contract before signing up! It states that if ANYTHING happens to your pet causing death, YOU ARE STILL FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MONTHLY PAYMENTS. It is a binding contract. PLEASE READ IT! Personally, I think it is pretty screwed up to charge clients for their pet after their death. I think the company is working on this policy to change it, as it is a MAJOR issue.

In working with this company, I definitely feel like sometimes it is more about how much the bill can rack up to be than the care for the pet. In most cases NO but I have felt that before.

As for overvaccinating: every hospital is different. When I first started, all vaccines were recommended, but now we are tailoring it to each pet and their exposure. You need to decide which vaccines are best for your pet with your DVM.

IF YOU EVER FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE WITH SOMETHING THAT IS GOING ON, LEAVE! That is the case in any medical profession, business or ***, for someone doing your dang taxes! THINK FOR YOURSELF!

Do not loop every Banfield hospital into the ring as terrible. The vets I work with are wonderful. But they are paid on how much they sale or how many clients they see. They are usually stressed to the max because of the high number of pets seen per day. Obviously if you are stress, quality can go down. I definitely think a lot of changes need to be made to the company and they are coming.

Product or Service Mentioned: Banfield Pet Hospital Pet Medical Service.

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Anonymous
#287541

And one other thing.. pulling up the best treatment for the pet is called good medicine. The one time that trail mix eating Pet isn't offered bloodwork, it will turn out to be stomach cancer and the client will be devastated later on and want to know why we DIDNT offer bloodwork. MUCH better medicine to OFFER what is BEST for sick pet and let the OWNER decide what they want to do with the best advice from the vet.

Have you ever seen House? Is it EVER the first thing they test for? NO but they run tests until they figure it out. Owners can always elect "CONSERVATIVE THERAPY" which basically means, treat symptoms and wait till it gets worse or goes away.

If money is tight, ask your vet for options. Don't be scared to ask them why they want to do a certain test or to make them go in steps instead of running everything at once. And make sure you UNDERSTAND the cost, result, and implications of everything BEFORE they proceed.

Take control of your pets health! You are responsible for them!

Anonymous
#287540

#1 EVERY vet hospital is a business

#2 Trust your vet to treat your pet or go somewhere else

#3 Ask questions until you feel comfortable, don't *** about it afterward.

#4 Don't sign things you don't read, especially if they have teeny tiny print and involve money or contractual obligations.

#5 Vets don't get in it for the money, but they ALL have debt from school.

*Hint - if you want a lower bill, find an older vet. They usually have seen it all, so don't care as much for running all the tests and they have long since paid off thier school loans!

If you are not clear on any of the above, get real. Vets are people. People make mistakes - just like human doctors. They are educated, not infallible.

Banfield is a company and there will always be one client or one employee who wants to complain about thier own *** experience due to not understanding one of the above points.

SO seriosuly. Get Real.

Anonymous
#274983

I am also a former employee for banfield, and you guys really need to think for yourselves. And yes banfield is much more expensive than any other place. Not because the vets want to pull up every little *** thing but because they ARE REQUIRED by the company to do so. If a dog comes in after eating some trail mix, and has been vomiting then a doctor may HAVE to pull up bloodwork, fecal exams, possibly a giardia test, and more, including medicines. guys, be smart when going in.

Do you go to the doctor for 2 days of diarrhea?? probably not. fluffy does not need to see a doctor after vomiting one time. that can be a cookie they ate or just stress.

good luck everyone and be vigilant.

ma93z71
#268805

I had to take my Westie in for ear infection about 5 weeks ago and I walked away with a bad taste in my mouth. It was all about the money.

They spent more time looking at their computer screen to make sure I was accepting of the climbing charges.

The DVM spoke very poor english and with the excpetion of the 3 minutes he came over to stick a swab into my dog's ear, he stood as far away from the dog with is hands behind his back. His bedside manner was very unsettling.

Anonymous
#267035

My dog was on a wellness plan for years at the same Banfield, through a couple head vets, and I saw a big shift in attitudes depending on which vet was the head vet. One vet was amazing - wellness plan or not (which really is more like a monthly payment plan for checkups, with at least the office visit free if other things come up), I'd be going back again if she was still there. But she left, and a new head vet came on. Since then, there's been more turnover with the rest of the staff and I've had concerns over the attitude toward treatment which are leading me to look everywhere.

What the original poster said about trusting your gut is spot on. Banfield is a corporation, but your and your pet's experience is really going to rely on the attitude of the head vet and the standards s/he sets - and that will vary from store to store. All vets are businesses and all vets have bills, salaries and student loans to pay off. Ideally, your vet's main concern should be first about getting your pet what he needs and then charging what the vet needs to for having performed that service. I've known vets who were like that at Banfield and who went above and beyond. I've seen vets at Banfield who made me question whether they'd read my pet's file at all before recommending things which would cost more - but, when asked, the vet could not tell me how they would be good or better for my pet other than "we recommend this to all our clients."

Banfield is a corporation, but in my experience, that can work for or against you - it really comes to the head vet and tone, standards and example set. And that varies. Take reviews with a large grain of salt unless they're specific to your local practice. And most certainly, trust your gut. If you don't trust your vet, you don't need to be going there and trusting them with your pet's health, and it won't be a productive relationship. But don't judge every location by a bunch of internet comments that are likely location specific.

Anonymous
#266645

I also used to work for Banfield, as a receptionist. I left awhile go because they do not pay their para-professional staff well.

But here's the thing folks--if you think that Banfield is any different than any other veterinary (or any medical) operation when it comes to money, than you are kidding yourself. Yes it is a for-profit enterprise, but so is every veterinary hospital. My experience was that actually the fact that it is a large corporation was good for customer's bottom line: many vets were willing to cut customers a break or slip some free treatment in, because their salaries are mostly guaranteed. Your average single-doctor-owned practice won't do that, since it cuts straight into his/her bottom line.

And having spent a lot of time in other vet hospitals, I can say authoritatively that the prices are not "very high." They are average. Wellness Plans are a good deal for new puppies, but they are definitely not "insurance" plans--that fact's not fine print, it's in bold print on the brochures they give you.

And finally, quality of care? They are not referral hospitals, of course. And quality of doctor can really vary, as it can in any hospital. One good thing is that there are standard medical protocols put in place by the company that are usually of a much higher standard than your average general practice. For example, a catheter is always in place during general anesthesia, in case something goes on and you need to do something quickly.

So, are there better vet hospitals out there? Of course. But there are a lot of horrible independent clinics that owned by some egotistical vet who graduated thirty years ago and dispenses steroids into every animal that walks in the door.

Anonymous
#265926

I also work for Banfield. I have seen many thing wrong and right.

I currently work in a multi doctor hospital. Most of my doctors will try to make treatments fit into a clients budget. And some of my doctors have done costly procedures for free because it would save the pet.

I agree some doctors are very money hungry, but not all of them. If you are not comfortable with something, ask to have them explained, by doctors, techs or the manager.

Anonymous
#265101

I was hired as a 'pet nurse' at Banfield with little experience as a veterinary technician. Banfield is corporate and only cares about the money and does not put pets first.

The entire team of doctors were below standard and had to work in groups figure out routine medical treatments because they were so inexperienced. One dr. often referred to herself as being a poor dr. The lead dr.

was so annoyed by a barking patient she had the pet put in the back room with the dryer going, where it was dangerously hot with no air flow. She refused to let us open the door to the room because she did not want to hear the barking. Another vet turned a neuter consult into a euthanasia consult because she felt large intact male dogs that fought with each other were red zone and that neutering them was not a solution. She went on as though she were an expert in animal behavior in addition to being a vet, and she clearly was not.

I could go on and on, including the pet nurses they had doing most of the procedures that fished around in one dog's jugular with a needle trying to get blood 16 times before finally having a dr. do it. She was not even close. She also gave injections without pulling back on the syringe to ensure she had proper placement (yes folks, I am an EMT and know this basic fundamental practice).

I would never take my pets to Banfield anywhere in a million years. The quality is incredibly poor from the east coast to the west.

Anonymous
#264489

I signed my cat up for the Wellnest Plan. It was explained to me that it was insurance, like for people and if the cat needed ANY care or operations, it would be covered.

Should have gotten that in writing. The cat ended up having something wrong internally and we were told either an operation or the cat would soon die from it. So we had her put to sleep for the lesser amount.

THEN got continued charges for the monthly charges. RIP OFF!