Portland’s about to become home to a new kind of business: VetPronto. The company’s founder describes it as an “Uber for veterinarians.” VetPronto is scheduled to arrive in Portland at the end of January.
The pitch is that you can have a vet come to your home, instead of taking your pet to a clinic.
Sounds expensive, right?
“Yeah, that’s a common misconception,” said company founder Joe Waltman.
He’s already rolled the idea out in 10 cities.
“Actually, house calls are not any more expensive than vet visits and it kind of makes sense when you think about it,” Waltman said. “We don’t have any overhead of a hospital like rent, idle staff and big expensive equipment.”
The catch is if Fido needs more than an exam or minor lab work, the dog will still have to go to a clinic.
Waltman said VetPronto hires veterinarians who work elsewhere 9-to-5, but who want to make extra money in the evenings or on the weekends, much like an Uber driver.
The average vet visit in the U.S., whether in clinic or at home, costs about $250 and the average family ends up at the vet about 2 1/2 times a year, according to Waltman.
The Portland metro area is also home to one of the nation’s largest vet companies, Banfield Pet Hospital.