Becoming a mobile vet

storage drawers in the rear of veterinary home visit vehicle

How I became a mobile vet, a career opportunity that had never occurred to me during my training.

head and shoulders photo of mobile vet Arun Marks

On graduating I was sure my future lay in the corporate world of an international company where I could climb the “greasy pole” to high command, and as such, I took up a position with an American owned conglomerate operating in the animal welfare market. Nothing however had prepared me for the sheer boredom of sitting behind a desk, in a soulless open plan office, dealing with endless official red tape, company rules with a huge distance opened up between myself and the animals I cared so much about.

It was no good, I knew I had to leave that world of collars and ties (and company politics) by getting stuck in at a veterinary practice where I could do what I was trained to do and where I felt I now belonged. Thankfully I had never been influenced by the books of James Herriot and never imagined working in an established practice would be quite the idyllic lifestyle he painted.  But however grounded I was at the time, it only took a short period of time for me to find myself at odds with the various employers that I had chosen to work for.

Working for someone else was not for me!

For whatever reason (and perhaps it’s me!)it was no time at all that I again found the restrictions on a wide range of issues such as the choice of suppliers, the need to meet targets and the general pressure to “make money” a little over powering.  Especially irritating when much of the money I was making was not coming my way!  I hope this doesn’t make me sound too mercenary!

It was then that I had my first light bulb moment in realising that I simply wasn’t cut out to work for others!  I wanted to be free, independent, have the ability to choose how I worked, where I worked, and when I worked.  I wanted to treat sick animals hands on, on my terms and not be following instructions from “on high”.

interior of a mobile vet surgery
A Mobile Veterinary surgery interior

Setting up a mobile vet practice

I knew that I just had to set up my own vet practice, under my total control.  It was then of course that my head took over from my heart and whilst working out the cost of premises, business rates, mortgages plus so many other costs my enthusiasm became a melancholy spiral of despair. But not, I have to say, for long.  I knew of many vets of my tender years who had successfully set up their own practice at much less cost by going mobile. So the second light bulb moment in my life came when realising I should set up as a mobile vet.

Examination table in mobile vet vehicle

In this age of “Amazon” where great swathes of the population now want, and indeed expect, all manner of goods and services to come to their door, to be delivered to their home, a mobile vet is no longer unusual but becoming the norm!  On top of this “come to me” expectation many pets benefit from treatment at home, removing the stress of transportation and the horrors for them of the veterinary waiting room.  There are of course many such as the elderly or disabled who find great difficulty transporting their pets. Public transport can also be a seriously restrictive factor in getting a sick animal to a practice. So a mobile vet provides an invaluable and welcome service to many.

Setting up was relatively painless. Once I had worked out the services to be provided along with the clients I hoped to attract I was able to determine the kind of vehicle required.  The ANIMEDIX Veterinary Vehicle Division of Multi Vehicle Technology Ltd  https://www.multivehicletechnology.co.uk/animedix/ offers a wide range of vehicles and whilst they offer some set “off the shelf” designs they provide a totally bespoke design and build service.  They also offer great advice, designs on the do’s and don’ts of mobile businesses ………without any obligation.

My big decision was the choice between a fully equipped mobile vet surgery or a smaller well equipped Home Visit vehicle and I decided to opt for a full surgery to enable me to offer a wider range of services.

With veterinary vehicles operating with an incredibly diverse range of mobile vet practices it was quite simple to tap into their experiences and build up a business plan. Yes I did need to borrow to fund the purchases of the vehicle and equipment but nowhere near the prohibitive costs and debt that I would have incurred with fixed premises.  And the very fact that I would operate as a mobile vet meant that I would have much greater geographic freedom than with fixed premises. Freedom at last!

 

mobile vet surgery based in a Movano panel van
A Mobile Veterinary Surgery

mobile veterinary vehicles from Multi Vehicle Technology Ltd

For more information about the range of vehicles and services ANIMEDIX provide please call them on 0116 326 1802 and they can talk you through all options.  You can also write to them on sales@multivehicletechnology.co.uk . Being based in Leicester they are quite central should you wish to visit, which I recommend.  And incidentally, MVTech has a field based maintenance and repair team so if you get stuck with any issues they have a technician who can come out to assist…but really, I doubt that you will ever require this service.

 

 

mobile veterinary surgery based in a Renault master panel van
Mobile Vet Surgery at animal welfare event

If you’re thinking of becoming a mobile vet it is always worth just checking out what your driving licence will allow you to drive.  A Government web site provides just this information

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