By Jim Dale
Taco-the-cat doesn’t like going to the vet.
When he’s sick or has a scheduled appointment, his human undergoes the arduous task of loading him up in a carrier and enduring meowing and an occasional hiss while navigating the sometimes-confusing traffic of the Uptown Dallas area.
“I have a very sensitive kitty who doesn’t do change well,” says owner Mandy Zapata, an Uptown apartment dweller. “By the time he gets back home, he’s usually traumatized—he hides for a day and won’t eat.”
For Zapata and many thousands of others who live within a several mile radius of Uptown and the Park Cities, luckily there is another solution.
ReadiVet is a year-old veterinary service that takes the doctor to the pet, performing a wide array of services for pets (and owners) that alleviates travel time and stress while delivering excellent care at an affordable price. Think of it as house-calls for fur babies.
“We’re seeing rapid change in virtually every area of service thanks to the internet and the gig-economy,” says ReadiVet co-owner and entrepreneur, Aidan Anders. “Consumers these days are accustomed and comfortable using meal delivery over apps or calling up an Uber for a hop downtown. So why not a mobile veterinary service?”
ReadiVet has grown rapidly since launching, fielding one highly trained and experienced veterinarian and recruiting others to meet burgeoning demand. For cases that can’t be handled on the road, the business has a full-blown clinic to perform specialized services like x-rays, dental cleanings, or surgeries. ReadiVet will even pick up and return the pet for in-clinic services. Or, ReadiVet’s staff veterinarians are also available to do consultations by phone or video link.
While the demand is there to serve the entire Metroplex, ReadiVet primarily services the tightly packed area north of Downtown Dallas—Uptown, the Medical District, the Park Cities, and adjacent areas. This is where a preponderance of pet owners live—typically single, with busy schedules and well-cared-for pets. ReadiVet visits can be scheduled outside of the general service area for an additional $75 fee to cover the added costs of driving and time.
This generally means that upwardly mobile young professionals never have to make the difficult decision to either miss an important meeting or make a scheduled pet appointment. In short, ReadiVet is as convenient for pet owners as it is for pets.
“It’s amazing how this has all spread through word-of-mouth,” says Anders. “Our customers really love the convenience of our service—generally saving them lots of time and reducing stress for their pets—and so they share us with their friends. The demand is definitely there for what we’re doing. Just the convenience factor alone makes us a provider of choice.”
Some in the millennial demographic ReadiVet serves like taking their pets to work, and ReadiVet is able to perform the majority of veterinary services at the workplace as well as the home. This has made the company a regular in areas like the Design District where pets are a ubiquitous part of many studios. “The big idea is that we bring the service to the pet, not the other way around,” says Anders.
For many clients, Anders says that pets are “their family” for all intents and purposes. So customers like the idea of having a friendly, knowledgeable, and qualified veterinarian come to the home, eliminating the need to take pets to crowded waiting rooms, which can often feel cold, sterile, and hostile to animals used to the comforts of home. “It’s just much easier on everybody,” Anders says.