Price versus Quality: Why what you pay for pet care matters

Dr Alex with his son and one of his many fur kids.

Dr Alex with his son and one of his many fur kids.

Fox Valley Animal Hospital doesn’t fly the flag of being the cheap choice in Wahroonga veterinary hospitals. We offer outstanding healthcare for your family pet. To do this, we need to ensure we are a quality animal hospital. And as anyone will tell you, quality rarely equates with cheap.

So why should you choose a quality, independent vet like us over a cheaper chain vet?

Here are some of the reasons why you should opt for quality in your choice of veterinary hospitals over cheap and cheerful.

The training trickles down to staff

Some veterinary hospitals experience a pretty high turnover of staff. Not Fox Valley Animal Hospital. When our vet nurses and support staff join Fox Valley Animal Hospital, they stay for a while.

Fox Valley Animal Hospital staff stay because the conditions are better. The vet nursing staff is treated with respect and courtesy. There are opportunities to continue the learning process and furthering education is actively encouraged. Our vets Alex and Katie spend time up-skilling the vet nurses and training them.

Alex alone has invested almost a decade into some of his nursing staff, on the floor and after hours, to make sure the vet nurses are confident in their jobs and damn good at what they do. That way, there’s a certain level of autonomy in our vet nurses, and the vets have nurses they can trust and rely on during difficult and high pressure medical situations.

So unlike places where knowing the basics are enough, the Fox Valley vet nurses and the supporting staff understand and can apply a greater level of medical knowledge. They can spot healthcare problems through experience and expertise. And this is an animal hospital that actively encourages further study and training.

Because our vet nurses stay longer and learn more, they are better equipped to care for your pet.

And we can only keep great quality vet nurses if the conditions are good and the opportunities are available.

Staff happiness translates to better health outcomes

When you get a team of vets and vet nurses at veterinary hospitals who like who they work with, have good working conditions and get to satiate their curious minds through all kinds of activities, you get happier healthcare staff. And when you get happier healthcare staff, you get happier patients.

Call us a little strange, but we firmly believe in attitude influencing how your pets feel when we treat them. If the vet is stressed, an already nervous animal is going to react poorly to examinations and treatment. If the vet nurses are too busy to give sufficient care, someone is bound to drop the ball.

People need to feel happy and supported to do their very best.

It’s not just the culture of veterinary hospitals you should consider. It’s staffing levels and nurse to patient ratios that dramatically influence the level of healthcare your pet receives. We all know if you have too much work to do, you don’t perform at your best. And we all know if you are dreading work, you’ll call in sick, take liberties and generally under perform.

At Fox Valley Animal Hospital, spending money on the wage of an additional vet nurse is worth the cost if it means the team performs their job better and your pets get the care they need.

So while other places work out who they need working based on balance sheets and profitability statements, we work it out around who we need and at what time to get the job done properly.


Animal healthcare is approached differently

An unfortunate reality is that some veterinary hospitals have big corporate companies to answer to. Ones that track how many animals are treated each day and put time limits on consultations.  They can have relationships with drug companies which can in turn influence the access to the treatments available.

Denying your family pet the best chance at treatment, recovery and/or survival for the sake of being friends with a drug company or pleasing an accountant with a stopwatch will never happen at Fox Valley Animal Hospital.

Nor will we treat outside our comfort zone. We will say no to certain cases and refer you onto other animal healthcare professionals if the case calls for it. We’d rather refer your pet to a specialist than lower their chances of getting better again.

Sadly, business people have realised that animal healthcare can be amazingly profitable if you have the right businesses backing you up. It can be that people who do not make the patient the priority are influencing vets and animal hospitals to make decisions about pet healthcare. Their rationale may be swayed with profit margins, shareholders and staying mates with other corporate entities who may benefit from making money off your pet’s sickness.

Price versus quality: There’s no contest

Fox Valley Animal Hospital is independent for a good reason. We want to help animals. We want your pet at the centre of our healthcare decisions. And so yes, sometimes we may not be as cheap as the other guy, but we focus on quality, pet-centric care. For veterinary hospitals to remain patient focused, they need to remain sustainable as well.

We may not have the buying power of the chain vets (though we’re working on it). And we will have extra vet nursing staff and additional care costs that another vet may not.

But we also have a customer base of extremely loyal animal lovers that have chosen us for over 30 years to take care of their family pets. Many of whom we have seen from their first vet visit to their last. And all of whom are loved, cherished and not seen as four pawed cash machines walking through the door.

Fox Valley Animal Hospital is committed to looking after your family pet “from the cradle to the grave.”

Not many other veterinary hospitals can say the same.

Had your fill of veterinary hospitals where quality is not part of the equation? Ccontact Wahroonga’s Fox Valley Animal Hospital now. 


About the Author
Owner and Vet Alex Brittan, Vet Katie Syms and the team of Fox Valley Animal Hospital pride themselves on quality service. Fox Valley Animal Hospital is the one you choose for your family pet when the care your animal receives really matters.