Vet tech startup Creature Comforts, which two months ago opened its first practice in Notting Hill Gate, London, has now opened its flagship practice in St John’s Wood.

Spread over two floors, the 3,300 sq ft flagship practice is unusually large for a London clinic, and has a dedicated dental suite and laboratory, as well as six spacious and bright consulting rooms.

Notably absent from the practice are a reception desk and continuously ringing telephones.

Instead, customers receive a warm welcome in the members’ area, with separate spaces for cats and dogs.

Shades of lilac on the walls have been carefully chosen to keep animals calm, while a pick and mix wall filled with toys and treats is designed to help pets develop positive associations with vet visits. 

Co-founders Russell Welsh MRCVS and online estate agent entrepreneur Daniel Attia say that a large portion of Creature Comforts’ customers have signed up as ‘All Access’ members, paying £20 per month to get unlimited access to expert care from vets and nurses.

This includes as many consultations as they need, annual vaccinations and discounted routine treatments e.g. 50% off microchipping.

The remainder have opted to pay as they go for treatment.

Creature Comforts’ chief veterinary officer, Dr Simon Hayes, says: “One of the biggest problems with UK veterinary care is that, due to the expense of consultations, pet owners are understandably reluctant to book in to see a vet until their animals are really sick.

"With a subscription model that includes unlimited consultations, we’ve removed the cost barriers to accessing expertise easily and quickly, so pets are seen more frequently, and conditions can be identified and treated earlier in the disease process, meaning a vastly better outcome for pets and hopefully greater financial savings over their lifetime, too.”

Simon added: “Many people comment on the peace and quiet.

"The absence of phones ringing or receptionists permanently on calls is unusual.

"But because our customers book in, submit queries and request medications via our app, we don’t need these things.

"While our virtual care team can take calls, they’re not based in the practice.

"This frees up our people to welcome customers and make a fuss of their pets so we can turn what has long been a stressful appointment into a positive experience.

"People have told us their pets, who trembled and cried at their previous vet, are now pulling to come inside because they know they’re going to get a treat and lots of attention.

"We’re still doing all the things vets do, in terms of offering excellent care, expertise and advice, but the entire experience around it has been totally transformed.”

Creature Comforts’ third site, also in London, will open towards the end of this year, and the company is keen to hear from veterinary surgeons, nurses and others who may be interested in upcoming vacancies.

PS: Whilst you're here, take a moment to see our latest job opportunities for vets.