Dog Vaccinations, Surgical and Dental Appointments – Frequently Asked Questions

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Is The Pet Vet owned by Petco?

No. The Pet Vet is an independent company partnering with Petco in order to operate within certain Petco retail stores, with the joint goal of providing convenient, affordable and comprehensive care.

Is The Pet Vet open on weekends?

Yes. The Pet Vet is open 9 am to 5 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Our hospitals are open seven days a week to serve you and your pets. We believe being open on weekends and until 7 pm on weeknights makes it easier for you to care for your pets and helps you avoid the added expenses of having to visit emergency hospitals after hours. The Pet Vet locations are open from 8 am to 7 pm Monday to Friday and from 9 am to 5 pm on weekends, except on designated holidays.

Do I have to have an appointment for my pet to be seen at The Pet Vet?

No. Though we prefer that our clients schedule an appointment to avoid extended wait times, we do accept walk ins during regular business hours and will be very happy to see you and your pet. We do have specific times blocked for surgery Monday through Friday, so a phone call or appointment booked online is helpful.

Does The Pet Vet offer drop-off appointments?

Yes, depending on space, The Pet Vet does offer drop-off appointments for the convenience of pet owners who need to have their pet examined or treated while they are at work or physically unavailable. Please call your local Pet Vet hospital to schedule a drop-off appointment.

Does The Pet Vet provide emergency care for pets?

The Pet Vet does provide assistance with urgent care during our business hours. All of our hospitals are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and technology to be able to assist your pet in times of need. We have a no-wait emergency policy so we can focus on stabilizing your pet for further treatment. Our hospitals are open 7 days a week.

What services does my pet need annually?

Basic annual pet care includes a full physical exam, heartworm and tick-borne diseases testing, annual core vaccinations, an intestinal parasite screening, overall dietary and nutritional counseling, plus location-, lifestyle-, and age-specific diagnostics and treatments. Your local Pet Vet experts can give you the guidance you need.

How much are shots for my puppy, dog, kitten or cat?

The Pet Vet offers low-cost package pricing based on age appropriate vaccinations for each species. Learn more here.

Does The Pet Vet provide a three-year rabies vaccine?

Yes. The Pet Vet provides a three-year canine rabies vaccine with proof of unexpired previous vaccination history.

Do I need a one-year rabies vaccine or a three-year rabies vaccine for my pet?

Both vaccines have essentially the same composition. The choice between one-year and three-year vaccines depends on when they are given. The initial rabies vaccination is usually given at three or four months of age and it is required that this vaccine be certified for only one year. The following year, the booster can be certified for one or three years, depending on the vaccine and local regulations, as long as it is given before the previous year’s vaccination has expired. All subsequent boosters can be certified for one or three years as well.

Why does my dog need a dental cleaning?

Dental cleanings should be performed yearly to keep your pet’s teeth and mouth healthy and free of disease.  Most dental pathology occurs below the gumline, so once your pet has noticeable signs of disease (inflamed gums, bad breath, loose teeth), the damage has already begun and may be significant.  Dental cleanings are also important for whole body health, as uncontrolled oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause damage to the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other body systems. In some cases, advanced dental disease leads to actual bone destruction and very painful infections.

Why should I spay/neuter my pet?

Spaying and neutering procedures are the cornerstone in controlling animal overpopulation in the U.S. Unfortunately, many pets are euthanized every day in shelters and clinics across the country simply because they do not have a home. Additionally, conditions such as pyometra (potentially fatal uterine infection) and certain cancers in both male and female pets may be prevented or treated with a spay and neuter procedure.

When should I spay/neuter my pet?

It is important to note that the sex hormones are valuable and necessary for normal body and organ development in pets, especially in long bones and joints. Therefore, The Pet Vet recommends large and giant breed pets should be spayed or neutered after one to two years of age to allow for normal physical and physiological development. Smaller dogs and cats pets can be spayed or neutered at an earlier age depending on the breed, usually between six and twelve months. You may want to consider an ovary sparing spay or vasectomy to allow the natural hormones to remain for the life of your pet, without concern for contributing to the pet overpopulation problem. Our doctors are more than happy to discuss all options with you before a decision is made.

What is an ovary-sparing spay?

An ovary-sparing spay is a procedure performed at The Pet Vet where the uterus and most of the cervix is removed, but the ovaries are left in place. Ovary-sparing spays can be performed on all breeds, but for large and giant breeds it can support developmental processes to help decrease the risk and/or progression of certain forms of cancer, joint disease, and endocrine disorders.

Will my pet have to stay the night after surgery?

No. The Pet Vet does not keep pets overnight. Pets presenting for spays, neuters, and dentals should be able to go home on the day of the procedure. Any emergency surgeries will be recovered in the hospital until close and then may be referred to an overnight facility for continued care if needed.

What if my pet needs extended care overnight?

The Pet Vet has an extended network of after-hour hospitals for referral in the event that your pet needs to be cared for overnight. We will do our best to discuss this possibility with you when reviewing the treatment options and requirements for your pet.

Why does my pet need pre-anesthetic bloodwork?

Pre-anesthetic bloodwork is important to perform for every animal to ensure that your pet can safely undergo anesthesia.  This testing can give your veterinarian a significant amount of information about the health state of your pet.  A complete blood count, or CBC, analyzes white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.  The white blood cells are broken down into types and can indicate infection, stress, parasitism, and other conditions.  This test can also detect anemia or clotting issues that would complicate surgery and increase anesthetic risks.  A blood chemistry measures levels of electrolytes, enzymes, and proteins in the blood and can assess liver and kidney function.  All of these are important in ensuring your pet is healthy enough to undergo anesthesia and recovery.

What kind of anesthetic monitoring is used?

At The Pet Vet animal hospitals, we use state-of-the-art digital monitoring and data logging during each anesthetic procedure. We utilize an electrocardiogram (ECG), pulse oximetry (this measures how well tissue is oxygenated), and a capnograph (this device measures how much CO2 is being exhaled and how often) to monitor respiration rate and depth and heart rate and electrical activity. We also monitor blood pressure and temperature throughout the procedure. Intravenous fluids and antibiotics are also administered perioperatively. Our equipment is often the same as that found in human cardiac and ICU units. Most current veterinary monitoring systems and very sensitive and fine-tuned for accurate results, making them crucial to maintaining positive outcomes during surgical procedures.

Why does my pet need heartworm prevention?

Heartworms, which are transmitted by mosquitos, can be deadly and can cause harm to all of your pet’s organ systems. Giving your pet monthly or semi-annual heartworm prevention (as labeled) can help prevent heartworm disease and protect your pet from this deadly illness.

Why does my pet need flea/tick prevention?

Fleas and ticks carry deadly diseases that affect both pets and their owners. They also can cause mild to serious skin irritation in your pets and can lead to infection and skin trauma. Flea and tick prevention given regularly can help reduce many short- and long-term health conditions in your pet.

What should I do if my pet has worms?

Bring your pet and a fecal sample to your local Pet Vet hospital. The sample will be screened for parasite eggs to determine what type of treatment will eliminate the infection. Your pet will be examined to ensure no residual effects remain during or after treatment.

What is the Healthy Pet Advantage Plan?

The Healthy Pet Advantage (HPA) Plan, is a comprehensive health care plan for your pet that emphasizes preventative measures to keep your pet healthy and happy at every stage of life. We have plans specially customized for your pet’s changing needs. Each plan includes The Pet Vet “Teeth to Tail” comprehensive physical examinations, all age-appropriate vaccinations, and many other discounted services. The plan is paid in twelve $45 monthly installments with the first payment due at sign up. Learn more here.

Why should I sign up for the Healthy Pet Advantage Plan?

When you sign up for the Healthy Pet Advantage (HPA) Plan at The Pet Vet, you enable us to provide the premium care your pet deserves while you save on the cost of purchasing exams and services individually. Learn more here.

Does The Pet Vet offer financing or payment plans?

Yes. The Pet Vet has options for you to take care of your pet regardless of your credit score or financial status. All of our Pet Vet locations accept Care Credit as a payment option. Care Credit offers financing, often at 0% and can be used for routine veterinary care, surgery, and emergencies. For more information, see If an application for the Care Credit Card is not approved, The Pet Vet offers a payment plan option called iCare. iCare is an immediate approval program that only requires a valid drivers license and bank account. A 30% down payment is required and iCare charges an administration fee that is broken out into the monthly installment to help ease the out of pocket amount required the day of the procedure. iCare is available at select locations.

What should I do if my pet eats something by accident?

Depending on what your pet ate, you should call your veterinarian ASAP or call the animal poison hotline for assistance. You may be able to remove an unwanted object from your pet’s mouth, but there is a risk of being bitten, so exercise caution.

What is a therapeutic laser?

Therapeutic lasers are used for treating pain, inflammation, and edema in tissue. We offer Class 4 cold laser therapy at all of The Pet Vet hospitals. We use a concentrated therapeutic beam of high-energy light to treat conditions including muscle, ligament and tendon injuries, joint swelling, disease, and soreness. Laser therapy can also be helpful for wound healing, swollen ears, and many other conditions. It is also used for all our surgery patients to speed post-operative healing.

What is Purevax?

Purevax is a series of non-adjuvanted vaccines made specifically for cats. We recommend only non-adjuvanted vaccinations in cats, since vaccine additives originally used to make the viral and bacterial components more readily available for uptake by the body can cause inflammatory side-effects in our hypersensitive feline patients. Purevax are less likely to cause reactions at the injection site, as well as local and systemic inflammation.

Do you offer titer testing?

Yes. The Pet Vet recommends titer testing to puppies after the final round of puppy vaccines and to adult dogs who have had a three-year DHPP vaccination and are not yet due for revaccination. This titer testing helps us determine the effectiveness of a vaccinated dog’s immune response.

Does The Pet Vet see exotic animals?

Select locations will be able to see exotic animals. Please call your local Pet Vet to see if we are able to treat your exotic pet.

Does The Pet Vet work with rescue groups?

Yes. The Pet Vet loves rescue groups! Please contact your local Pet Vet for specific rescue group information.

Can you help with puppy training?

While we do not provide training courses at The Pet Vet, team members at your local Pet Vet can offer behavioral assessments and advice and help set recommendations regarding your pet’s training. If you are looking for training classes, our partners at Petco offer a variety of classes.

Have another question? Ask us!

The Petco Connection

You will find The Pet Vet hospitals in select Petco locations. We are a separate company partnering with Petco to give you convenient and affordable access to veterinary services in a pet-loving environment you have already come to know and trust. Now all of your pet needs can be fulfilled in one pet-friendly location!