Science and TechAnimals and Insects


At-home veterinary care aims to lower stress for pets, veterinarians

The Vets at-home veterinarian service is lowering stress for pets and vets in 15 cities throughout the U.S.
Posted at 3:58 PM, Mar 07, 2023

Burnout coming out of the pandemic isn't just an issue among health care workers, but also among the veterinarians who take care of our pets. A new focus on care at home is helping with that work-life balance and also making the experience less stressful for pets.

The service called The Vets started in 2021. Veterinarian Alejandro Caos says it's currently available in 15 cities across the U.S., including Denver, Las Vegas, Houston, and Tampa. He says they hope to expand to more cities in the coming years.

"This service is a phenomenal opportunity for them to assimilate to all of the touching and prodding and weird senses that they might feel," Caos said. "But they're doing it at home, they're doing it in front of their owner with their owner around."

If your furry companion gets nervous when you take them to the vet, you're not alone. Sam Harris' dog, Hugo, has a lot of energy. That's part of the reason why she says she decided to try an at-home vet service.

The team from 'Pets for Life' stops by to drop off supplies for Deniece Young's cat, Mr. Moe

'Pets For Life' working to address 'veterinary deserts' across America

Pets for Life works in 43 states, to get pet care to places where people experience poverty or lack access to veterinary care.


Hugo always gets like very simultaneously anxious and excited to go to the vet's office because he knows he gets treats there," Harris said. "But he also knows that he's going to get stuck with needles. Here, I think he just wanted to show everybody his toys."

From vaccinations and home lab tests to wellness exams, Caos says they can handle the majority of pet care in your home. However, he says if your pet is facing an emergency, or needs a surgery, that still needs to be done in a clinic setting.

"We're able to say, 'hey, we think that this needs a little bit more attention, maybe more round the clock care,'" Caos said. "So, you know, if they need to be hospitalized, that's not something we can do."

While a lot of the focus is on the pets, Caos says a big reason why this at-home vet service started is because of veterinary burnout.

"Previous to this, I was working at a one doctor practice down in Miami, Florida, and that was intense," Caos said. "I mean, I wouldn't leave till nine at night, many nights, and I'd start at eight in the morning."

Pit bull puppy

Veterinarian shortage could leave 75M pets without medical care

Animal clinics across the nation were trying to keep up with increasing demand for pet care while navigating a nationwide shortage of veterinarians in 2022.


A veterinarian wellbeing study by MERCK Animal Heath found veterinarians scored higher in burnout than physicians. That study came out just before the pandemic, and since then, 23 million households have added a pet to their family, according to American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

A 2022 MERCK Animal Health report shows vets reported a reduction of burnout when they had more time outside of work to spend with family and friends.

"If I had to say one thing about The Vets, is that my work-life balance is certainly much more balanced than it ever has been," Caos said.

Caos says it will take more innovative solutions like at-home vet care to make sure both our pets and the veterinarians are well taken care of.

As of right now, The Vets says a same-day appointment is possible, with a typical price range between 230 and 260 dollars.

Caos says that's possibly more than your average clinic visit, but he says that's because you're paying for the one-on-one care.