Policies and Terms
Payment will be collected when services are rendered. For your convenience, cash, personal checks and most major credit cards are accepted. Credit card payments will incur an additional service fee.
Appointment cancellations must be made at least 8 hours in advance by calling (414) 514-0145. A cancellation fee for the full amount of your Exam will apply if cancellations are not made within this timeframe.
Every effort will be made to be at your home at the scheduled appointment time, however due to the nature of a mobile business, please allow a 20 minute window following your appointment time in case delays arise. If it looks likely that I will be delayed, I will call as soon as I'm able to let you know.
1. What are the benefits of an in-home veterinary consult?
The advantage of an in-home consult is a lower stress experience for both yourself and your pets. Your pet will be in a familiar environment and will be able to avoid anxiety-provoking car rides, noisy waiting rooms and interactions with other pets that are inevitable during a traditional office visit.
In-home visits are particularly ideal for cats, as they are often adverse to car rides and cat carriers; fearful and anxious pets; and elderly pets that have difficulty traveling.
These visits are also convenient for individuals with multiple pets and those that prefer more time for questions and discussion of their pet's care during consultations.
2. What is the importance of low-stress handling?
Low-stress handling will facilitate a more positive experience for your pet and increase the likelihood that subsequent visits for veterinary care will go smoothly. A common misconception is that force is the quickest way to get an animal to do something, when in fact this only contributes to increased fear and anxiety, making future visits with the vet more difficult, lengthy and stressful for everyone.
With low-stress handling, we aim to make your pet feel as comfortable as possible, by taking our time during the exam, using positive reinforcement such as favorite treats, praise and toys and tailoring the structure of each visit to the needs of your individual pet. Aversive methods and force will not be used.
A major key to successful low-stress handling is allowing sufficient time for each visit and avoiding rushed appointments where speed is prioritized over pets' comfort levels. For this reason, all of our consultations are set at a minimum time of thirty minutes, rather than the average 15-20 minutes at many veterinary clinics, to allow for a more relaxed experience.
We are happy to do whatever it takes to help your pet feel more comfortable during exams, whether that's working in conjunction with your trainer, booking extended consult times or returning for multiple visits where only a few issues are dealt with each time.
For a great article on the importance of low-stress handling, please click the following link:
3. Why do you offer exam times in both 30 and 60 minute increments? How do I know which one I should select for my pet?
We offer a range of appointment times because we believe that each client and pet should have as much time with their veterinarian as they think is necessary.
A thirty minute consult is designed for routine matters such as wellness exams, vaccines and minor health concerns in pets that historically have tolerated veterinary visits well and without any behavioral issues.
A sixty minute consult is recommended for pets that may suffer from fear, anxiety and aggression during visits to the vet, for those with more extensive medical concerns and for owners who prefer more time for questions and discussion.
If desired, we are always happy to schedule appointments for longer than 60 minutes as well. If you are unsure what length of appointment is best for your pet, we're happy to discuss this with you when you phone to schedule a visit.
4. What can I do to prepare for my pet's appointment?
Please choose a quiet, out-of-the-way area of the house where your pet feels comfortable and that can be easily cleaned after the visit is over. Exams will generally be conducted on the floor. Please be prepared to remain with your pet for the duration of the consultation. If you feel that the presence of one or two additional family members or friends might increase your pet's comfort level, they are welcome to be present as well.
We advise having your pet's favorite treats handy (this goes for both dogs and cats) for use during the appointment. You might also consider feeding your pet a bit less in the hours leading up to the appointment so they will be more hungry and motivated by food during the appointment.
We may also bring our own treats, so if your pets have any dietary restrictions or foods that you prefer they not have, please advise us ahead of the appointment.
Your are welcome to call us anytime before your pet's appointment with any questions or concerns.
5. What does a behavioral consult involve?
These consults are designed to address behavioral concerns such as fear, anxiety, aggression and inappropriate behaviors in dogs and cats. Each consult will be scheduled for at least sixty minutes and will include a thorough history-taking and discussion of problems and possible solutions. We might not handle your pet during these visits, but rather simply observe their behavior.
Particularly for behavioral concerns in dogs, we will often suggest working with a force-free trainer as a first step to address these issues. We are happy to recommend many excellent trainers through Force Free Trainers of Wisconsin that can assist you. In some cases, behavioral modification work with your trainer may be sufficient to get things on the right track. In other cases, we may discuss trying medications to lower your pet's stress, anxiety and arousal levels, in conjunction with behavior modification plans.
We love to collaborate with trainers on cases and welcome your trainer to be present for any of your pet's visits, whether behavioral consults or regular exams.
6. What if my pet requires other care or diagnostics that can't be provided in-home?
If your pet requires a service that we can't provide in-home such as x-rays, ultrasound or surgery, we will work with you to find an appropriate general or specialty practice veterinary clinic in the area to address those needs.
7. Do you offer euthanasia as part of your services? What about palliative care?
Currently we do not offer euthanasia, but we can certainly refer you to other compassionate local veterinary services that do offer euthanasia in-home, as well as cremation services.
Palliative care for sick and elderly pets is most definitely offered and we are happy to create a plan with you to keep your dog or cat happy and comfortable for as long as possible. We understand that it can be incredibly difficult and emotionally taxing to be caring for a pet at the end of their life, and we are committed to supporting you through this in any way that we can. Pain control, administration of subcutaneous fluids to keep your pet hydrated, anti-nausea medications, dietary modifications and other symptomatic treatments may help to keep your dog or cat feeling better. We are also happy to work with other veterinary professionals in the area that offer acupuncture, massage, laser therapy and aromatherapy to provide a multi-modal therapy approach for your pet.
8. What should I do in case of an emergency with my pet?
If your pet is having a serious health issue that you perceive to be an emergency, we recommend immediately taking your pet to one of the local emergency veterinary clinics (provide links) that will be equipped to provide urgent and specialty care 24/7. If you have any concerns during Happy At Home's business hours and are unsure whether you should schedule your pet for an exam or simply take them to an emergency clinic, please call us and we'd be happy to advise you on the best course of action.