Why would I need an in-home veterinarian?

There are many reasons you might want a veterinarian to come to your house. 

1: It's less stressful for your dog or cat. Some animals don't like to ride in the car and they may get carsick.  Some animals are particularly fearful, anxious, or even aggresive about seeing other animals.  Once they arrive at the veterinary hospital, many animals are anxious or over-excited in that environment, making evaluation difficult.

2: For very young or very old pets that do not have good immunity and, for pets with weakened immune systems, there is less risk of being exposed to air-borne as well as surface-borne germs within a waiting room.  Dr. Lam takes biosecurity very seriously and all uniforms as well as footware is disinfected before arriving to your residence.

3: It might be more useful.  By examining your pet in its own environment, your house call veterinarian can better evaluate behavior and conditions which may be masked or aggravated by a foreign environment like an animal clinic.  Evaluating an animal in the home environment will yield more information on what the potential health risks are.

4: There is more time for a real one-on-one consultation.  All your questions will be answered and together we'll create a custom-made plan for your pet's health.  Most traditional veterinary hospitals will give you about 5-10 minutes of the doctors time before you are pushed away.  At the very least, we schedule about 45 minuets with you in order to make sure all of your questions concerns are fully addressed.  Exams and appointments may not take up all the time but it is there in case it is needed.

5: House calls are more convenient for you, the owner, as you will be getting more specialized care.  This is especially true for people with disabilities or limited mobility, people who can't drive, and people with small children.  It's often times  easier on you, especially if you have multiple pets making it difficult to wrangle them all to the animal hospital.

6: It saves time. For people who are busy and have lots of demands on their time, a housecall vet who comes to you saves you from the necessity of taking the time to load up the animals, drive to the animal hospital, sign in with the front desk, and wait in the lobby to see the doctor.  Any "waiting" you do with a housecall veterinarian is in your home, where you can get other things done or just relax.

7: Animals may have problems that make it especially difficult to transport them. For example, it can be hard to get a large dog with a severe lameness into your automobile, or an animal might have seizures that are aggravated by car trips or the sights and sounds of the animal hospital.

8: Finally, end-of-life concerns are always better dealt with in the comfort and security of home, if possible.  When the sad time of euthanasia comes, most people would prefer to have it done at home, where the pet is comfortable and where it's more private.  A house call veterinarian ensures that you can say goodbye to your pet with the least amount of stress and anxiety. 

How far in advance do I need to schedule an appointment?

Ideally, especially for routine exams and preventative care, appointments should be scheduled a week or two in advance.  However, in the case of sick animals or pets that may need in-home euthanasia, same-day appointments are often available (especially on the weekends).  We understand that some things cannot be scheduled and do our very best to accommodate your needs.

What if I need to cancel an appointment?

We appreciate as much notice as possible when rescheduling routine appointments.  If less than 24 hours notice is given or if you are not present when the doctor arrives at your house, you will be charged a standard housecall fee.  Note:  You will only be charged a fee if an appointment was confirmed and you are not avaible when the doctor arrives at your house.  Feel free to call any time to make appointments or for any additional questions you may have for us.

Will this cost more than a traditional vet clinic?

Fees for medical care, labwork, vaccinations and prescriptions are comparable to those at most veterinary hospitals, and sometimes actually less than youíd pay at traditional hospitals.  Mobile Veterinary Services has invested money into our mobile lab which can turn around results in just minutes of taking the samples needed unlike some veterinary hospitals which have to send everything to the mainland and wait a few days for the results.  We work very hard to make sure your pets can get the very best care.

However, there is an additional house call fee attached to the exam fee that accounts for Dr. Lamís travel time.  Please call us to discuss the house call fee for your location.  Despite this fee, most people find that the value they receive in terms of the undivided, personal attention of an experienced, compassionate veterinarian is well worth the cost.  Many people are surprised that having a generous amount of a veterinarianís time (most traditional veterinary hospitals will give you about 5-10 minutes of the doctors time) and expertise at a home visit is as financially feasible as it is.

A housecall (trip) fee is charged once per location per visit. Therefore multiple pets in the same home are each charged a physical exam fee and conveniently share the housecall (trip) fee if scheduled on the same day!

Neighbor Discount?

Share the housecall fee with your neighbors!  If multiple neighbors on the same street schedule back to back appointments Dr. Lam will divide the housecall fee among those participating.

What is the difference between a housecall (trip) fee and a comprehensive physical exam?

A housecall (trip)  fee covers the cost of travel time and associated travel expenses.

A comprehensive physical exam encompasses the extensive physical exam conducted by the doctor requiring years of training and expertise.

Are there additional fees for extended or far away appointments?

Extended appointment fees will be added if excessive doctor time is spent searching for pet (s).  Normal appointments are scheduled for 45 minutes.

Out of service area fee applicable for locations greater than X miles (service radius yet to be determined) during traffic hours.

Assistant fees apply if a veterinary technician is needed to accompany and aid the doctor with restraint and sample collection such as blood and urine.

How to prepare for your housecall visit?

Please submit new client forms prior to your pets initial visit. See forms link for details.

Please have copies of your pet (s) detailed medical history available at the time of your appointment. If possible fax records to Dr. Lam one week prior for review.

Please have dog (s) leashed if needed and cats/kittens confined to a small space (bathroom) for easy access.

See our appointment page for more information.


Payment is due at the time services are rendered by Credit card, Cash, Check, or Paypal.

What Should I Expect With a House Call?
If your pet has been seen by a different veterinarian in the past, please pick up a copy of their medical records from your vet and bring it with you to the appointment to ensure continuity of care.  When preparing for your appointment, please have your pets either on a leash, confined to a small room such a bathroom or walk-in closet, or in a crate/cage before Dr. Lam's arrival.  Taking an extended amount of time to corral your pet during the visit will result in an additional extended exam fee.

We will take our time getting to know you and your pet to decrease the stress of the visit on everyone.  Our clients are part of the health care team for your pet and we want you to be comfortable as well!  We will conduct a physical exam on your pet and you may be asked to help hold them.  If you are not comfortable with doing this or do not like needles, please let Dr. Lam know when making the appointment so he can schedule an assistant.  The results of the physical exam will be discussed and we may proceed with additional diagnostics or treatments.  A discharge summary of all appointments will either be e-mailed to you or printed for you. 

Physical Exams

We do a thorough physical of your pet, which includes:
-Body condition score
-Mouth and teeth
-Listening to heart and lung sounds
-Temperature, pulse, respiratory rate
-Palpation of the spine, joints, and abdomen
-Examination of skin and coat
-Reproductive organ and rectal examination

Physical exams are $50 per animal.  Additional diagnostic tests, treatments, or prescriptions will be charged accordingly.

Discounts:  To serve pet owners with more than two or three pets who would like to get all of their animals taken care of at once, we charge $120 per hour for professional time in lieu of the examination fee. 

In addition, if you make an appointment for a house call with a group (family members, friends, neighbors, training club members, etc), there is only one shared fee for the house call. 

End of life questions

Please see our End of life page here

The information on this website is only for information purposes and does not replace the advice of your veterinarian.  All pets are individuals and without examining your pet, it is impossible to give you accurate medical advice.  Always check with your veterinarian before using any information you read on this site or any website.  The advice and comments found on this site are not a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, treatment or advice.  Dr. Walter Lam and Mobile Veterinary Services are not responsible for any damage, illness, death or harm that occurs from information found on this site or links from this site to other resources.
Appointment Hours:
Mon-Sun 9am -5pm
(After Hour Emergency Services Offered )

(808) 383-2071


Service Areas:
Oahu, HI