Drop-in Pet Clinics Come to Walmart

By Claudia Kawczynska, August 2019, Updated June 2021

Essential PetCare, which opened its first Walmart-based walk-in vet clinic in Port Richey, Fla., in 2016, recently expanded its operations to Texas, with a clinic in a DallasFort Worth area Walmart. They will be expanding soon to eight more stores in Texas.

Jill Lopez, DVM, director of marketing for this innovative chain of vet clinics, noted that she was attracted to Essential PetCare for two reasons: she believes in its mission—to provide veterinary care to a greater number at a lower cost by operating in convenient locations—and its female-focused management.

Women serve in several key management positions, which, she says, influenced operational decisions, such as clinics’ hours of operation: 10 am to 8 pm, closing for two hours (between 2 and 4) to allow staff time to coordinate family duties with their work schedules. These hours are also working-parent friendly, as is the average visit duration of less than 20 minutes and the online check-in option.

Services are limited to routine vaccinations, lab work and treatment of minor illnesses, such as ear infections, common skin conditions and urinary issues. More complex health care needs are referred to full-scale vet clinics and emergency hospitals in the surrounding communities.