Pet care on the road: Mobile vets in the UK

11 December 2023 - 3 min read
veterinarian holding cat

Choosing the right vet makes a big difference to a pet’s life. If owners can find a way to make vet appointments easier for their furry friends, the whole experience can become less stressful for everyone!

Do vets do home visits?

In short, yes! Not all vets operate exclusively out of brick-and-mortar surgeries: some take their practice on the road and visit patients at home. Vets in rural communities have always driven to their clients in order to care for larger farm animals but in recent years, mobile vet practices have sprung up all around the UK, with vets driving to their clients’ homes, even in urban areas. 

So why would you opt for a mobile vet over their stationary counterparts? Let’s take a closer look at why pet owners might go mobile for their pet’s welfare needs, how much mobile vets cost, and how the service compares to traditional practices. 

What services do mobile vets offer?

A mobile vet is essentially a veterinary clinic on wheels. A veterinary team, licensed to practise outside their surgery, travels around in a vehicle that contains veterinary equipment, and performs services that clients would normally access at a surgery. While mobile vets don’t quite have the same treatment capacity as a traditional vet, they do offer an expansive range of services, including: 

  • Consultations and check-ups

  • Dental cleaning and treatments (not all, but some will have access to anaesthetic machines)

  • Parasite treatments

  • Nail clipping

  • Routine surgeries (again, not all, but some will have access to anaesthetic machines)

  • Microchipping

  • X-rays and ultrasound scans

  • Vaccinations

  • Animal Health Certificates

  • Blood tests, blood pressure exams, and other diagnostic tests

  • Euthanasia, end-of-life pet care

Mobile vets may be able to deliver their services within their clients’ homes, or may bring pets into their vehicles for more specialised treatments such as X-rays. 

Why choose a mobile vet?

There are plenty of reasons that a mobile vet might be a more attractive option for a pet owner:

  • Convenient care: You can arrange, and attend, an appointment with a mobile vet without having to leave your home. This means not having to take as much time out of your day to travel, and not having to deal with traffic, weather, or delays. This aspect of mobile vet care is particularly helpful for elderly owners. 

  • Flexibility: Mobile vets can be more flexible with their schedules, meaning it’s more likely that you’ll be able to get an appointment that fits your timetable. 

  • Reduced stress: Injured or sick pets typically get upset or scared when they’re taken to an unfamiliar place. By treating them at home you’ll eliminate the need for a stressful drive and help them stay calm. The reduced stress absolutely applies to owners, too!

  • Better hygiene: Treatment at home reduces the chance that your sick or injured pet will pass an infection to another animal (and vice versa) since you won’t need to take your pet out in public, or sit in a crowded waiting room with other animals. 

  • Multiple pets: For owners with multiple pets, there’s added value in mobile vet home visits. With each furry family member within arm’s reach, a mobile vet can perform check-ups on everyone, quickly and conveniently!

How do mobile vets compare to traditional vets?

Mobile vets are becoming more popular, but that doesn’t mean traditional vets are about to disappear! So, why might you opt for a traditional vet?

Traditional vet practices are often a more attractive option for people that have highly specialised medical needs for their pet, since it’s typically easier to store specialised equipment in a brick-and-mortar practice. With that in mind, traditional vets will almost always offer a wider range of services than mobile vets, by virtue of having more space, more employees on-site, and more room to perform certain procedures. 

Because mobile vets have pretty set schedules, traditional vets, in brick-and-mortar practices, also represent the better option if you need to seek urgent care for your pet

How much do mobile vets charge?

The cost of veterinary care is an important consideration for most pet owners - who want to make sure they can afford to look after their animal companions. With that in mind, traditional vets may also be more cost effective for a lot of people: mobile vets typically charge more for the convenience of their service - even if their patients might save on travel expenses. 

The average price for a mobile vet consultation in the UK is £75. 

The price for mobile vet services may be higher in urban areas, and service prices may vary by a range of factors, including the type of animal being treated. 

Protect your pet proactively

Wherever you get your veterinary care, the important thing is that your furry friend stays happy and healthy. In practice, this means being proactive about protecting your pet, addressing the risks of accident and injury before they occur. Pet Insurance is a critical part of proactive pet care: not only does pet insurance deliver peace of mind that your pet will get the right treatment, when they need it, but also means you’ll have financial support to pay for it. Find out more about your pet insurance options with ManyPets insurance policies. 

Lewis Martins
Communities marketer

Lewis has worked in pet health since 2017. Before joining ManyPets in 2021, he led content production at VetForum and PetsApp. Lewis has collaborated with some of the world’s biggest vet groups and suppliers to write educational articles for vets and pet parents. His Instagram feed is 60% dogs, 40% cats.