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How far is too far when choosing a vet?

How far is it ok to travel to a vets?

When looking at practices to register at, I think looking at how far the practice is away from you is very important. There are quite a few reasons as to why – which I will go through in this article. Unfortunately, where you live can really limit your options as to how far you would ideally like to travel, as there might not be many practices around you. 

So how far is too far?

As I said some people may not have a choice but to travel further to a practice. People that live out in remote locations may only have one practice around them so really there isn’t much we can do about that of course! However, when we have options it’s always ideal to use a practice closer to you. So when looking at the distance of practices, a practice that is within half an hour of you is ideal, even with traffic! 

Remember, it’s not so much the distance in miles as the time in minutes that can be really important.

Although it’s not always a problem, looking at what hours the practice is open may also be something to consider. Can you get to the practice within your work schedule/working hours, would you always have to take days off to take your pet to the vets as it’s too far away to do on a normal day? This is entirely up to you. 


Try to aim for a practice that is within half an hour away from you. This is because if you have an emergency with your pet you don’t want to be travelling too far. After all, if your pet is in distress, travelling could cause more distress and make the situation worse. But most importantly, you also want to get your pet treated as soon as possible. While a few minutes may not matter in ordinary circumstances, in a life-or-death crisis, travelling far would delay the treatment. Bearing this in mind, finding somewhere closer is usually better. 

Out of hours travel

These days most practices don’t do their own out of hours, which means you are likely to be diverted to a practice that does, these are normally big hospitals. This does sometimes mean you have to travel even further. This cannot be helped but it might be ideal to look into this when looking at practices and making sure you are able to travel there.  A practice would be able to advise you on this information. 

So how do we find a local practice? 

Finding a practice is easy. Using search engines or recommendations are a few ways. Here at VetHelpDirect we can find practices that are on your doorstep just by typing in your location.


Sometimes our pets have to see a specialist. Unfortunately this does most of the time mean we have to travel even further. Having to travel even further for this is ok as long as you can do it, your vet wouldn’t recommend you going to the specialist if they thought your pet wasn’t healthy enough to travel that far.

Pets travelling

Unfortunately not all of our pets travel very well. Some are absolutely fine and love a good car journey whilst others may get stressed, get sickness. Cats especially aren’t always very happy about being put into a carrier then put into a car. With pets that get distressed whilst travelling ideally we don’t want to be travelling too far with them. So ideally the closer to home the better for these ones. 


Transport is also something to consider when looking at distance. Whilst some of us have our own transport some people don’t. There are pet taxis out there that will help and take your pet to the vets, but as there will be a cost for this do we really want to be using a practice that is far away?.


So I think looking at the distance of a practice is very important especially when you think about what if you have an emergency, this being night or day. Considering how far your pets are able to travel is also a major factor, you wouldn’t want to take a nervous traveller very far. It’s always good to look around before committing to anywhere… but in general, look for a practice you can get to within about 30 minutes if possible.

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