Overall, the main difference between independent and a corporate vet is how they are owned. Independent Vets are owned usually by either an individual vet or a group of vets, usually with a singular practice.
On the other hand, a corporate vet is usually a practice that is owned by a large national company, who own multiple practices across the country. The multiple clinics are seen as a ‘franchise’, and the corporate companies are managed by a large team of businesspeople.
This difference in business structure between the two types of vet practices results in a different visiting experience for you and your pet. As an independent vet practice ourselves, there are certain advantages that come with visiting us opposed to a chain.
As we often know, bigger is not always better and the same can be said when it comes to veterinary practices. While each type of vet care employs qualified vets who always try to strive to provide the best care possible.
“There are some differences that you may not even be aware of if you’ve never visited an independent vet before.”
Oftentimes at larger corporate vets they have a larger team of veterinarians working within the practice, who often work across several practices, so when you come for an appointment or consultation you may not always see the same vet. This means that every time you visit the practice you need to re-explain your pet’s medical history. This is not only quite time consuming, but also not effective, as you may start to leave things out or forget details as you try to give a comprehensive account. Additionally, pet consultations only last so long, so you don’t want to waste valuable time not speaking about your pet’s current problem.
Following on from the last advantage, when you see the same person at an independent vet care practice then the vet has the opportunity to get to know both you and your four-legged friend. This is not only helpful for them becoming familiar with medical histories, but also with the animals’ personalities. For example, if you have a particularly nervous pet, seeing the same vet can be beneficial for their anxiety to see a familiar face.
Despite being a chain with multiple locations, corporate vets usually only have one location where they perform larger operations such as neutering. If you are not registered with the practice that offers these services, you then need to travel a fair distance to get to there.
If you live in the city this means sitting in extra traffic which takes more time out of your day. Or if you don’t have access to a car, it results in you taking taxis back and forth, which is not only adding costs but can increase the anxiety of your pet. This isn’t the case with our independent vet, as all our facilities are within the one practice.
As an independent vet, we have full creative control over our practice and its décor. Usually, this is not the case at a corporate vet as their decorations are usually decided by their head office. Maintaining décor is also often not a priority so they can end up looking run down and generic, which isn’t great if you’re sitting waiting for a long time.
Generally, independent vets dedicate more time to creating a welcoming atmosphere in their practices.
Independent vets and owners are driven by their desire to help animals as it why they became vets in the first place. Corporate vets and the multinational companies that own them are usually operating in the sector due to the potential profitability.
Additionally, due to the size of a corporation, they often have to implement treatment guidelines and decision-making policies, which isn’t the case in an independent practice. This means that at an independent vet can tailor your pet’s treatment to their specific needs rather than being restricted by guidelines for certain conditions.
Overall, visiting a corporate vet is an acceptable option, especially if you don’t live near an independent one. However, there are some significant advantages to dealing with an independent vet that we feel can really make a difference to the overall experience for both you and your pet.
If you’re looking for an independent vet in London that cares about helping your pet and finding them the best treatment, the Kensington Veterinary is the practice for you. Book an appointment online today!
The care and health of your pets is Kensington Veterinary Carer’s top priority. That is why we offer a comprehensive first opinion veterinary service for your furry friends, so you can be assured that no matter the problem, we can help you get to the bottom of it.
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