“This is a brand new location for us,” said Erin O’Donnell, DVM, chief of staff of the new facility at 1530 Garnet Ave., formerly Evans Tires.
The new full-service pet hospital held its grand opening Feb. 8.
Banfield’s PB practice manager is Jennifer Katz, who is also a registered veterinary technician who assists veterinary doctors.
A national firm, most Banfield's are located inside Pet Smarts, though, according to O’Donnell, “There’s no ownership by Pet Smart.”
Pointing out Banfield’s corporate office is in Vancouver, Wash. the firm, which started in Portland, Ore., is now national with more than 1,000 outlets. Banfield has been in San Diego for at least 15 years.
Of the local market, with lots of pets owned by residents and beachgoers alike, O’Donnell pointed out Banfield determined “it made a lot of sense to open in PB.” She added she already had numerous clients in PB, as well as in Point Loma and La Jolla. “I knew, for sure, this was going to be the location because we had already a base of clients that live already in this area,” said O’Donnell.
“Though we do surgery here, neuters and spays, and the most common (of those) dental oral surgeries,” said O’Donnell. “We are not an emergency clinic. We are not a 24-hour care facility. We’re here for preventative as well as illness care.”
Discussing the differences between treating humans and animals, who can’t tell you where it hurts, O’Donnell noted, “It’s all based on gauging responses to the physical exam and the results of lab work.”
The pet hospital chief of staff offered some preventative tips for maintaining pet health.
“We concentrate on five different elements of preventative care,” she said. “Some of the obvious ones are vaccines to infectious diseases out there, making sure they’re up to date. Parasites, preventing fleas, ticks, and heartworm.”
“Here, people take their dogs to dog parks and Dog Beach a lot where there’s a lot of intestinal parasites and worms,” pointed out Katz.
Continuing her discussion of the five platforms of pet care, O’Donnell said the third element involves dentistry. “You should not wait until teeth are rotting out,” she said. “If we can keep them healthier, we can keep the pet alive longer with a better quality of life.”
The vet added nutrition is number four on the five basics list, “making sure people are feeding their pets something they can trust and is the right choice for their pet.”
The fifth element, O’Donnell said, is “potential behavioral concerns that come up, helping to keep that pet connected to their family.”
What’s the biggest pet problem Banfield deals with?
“Itchy skin and itchy stinky ears,” answered O’Donnell. “They typically end up on the top of the list. And definitely GI issues, vomiting, and diarrhea. Things not so obvious are weight loss, coughing, and allergies, as well as bad breath and dental disease.”
O’Donnell said Banfield recommends clients bring their pets in every six months “just because pets do age so much faster than people. We have a program called an Optimum Wellness Plan that includes all of the basics of preventative care.”
Banfield Pet Hospital
Where: 1530 Garnet Ave.
Info: banfield.com, 858-274-4794