- Please expect to arrive ten (10) minutes prior to your scheduled appointment.
- If you plan to be later than fifteen (15) minutes, please call and reschedule. *For more information, please see our Appointment Cancellation Policy.
Walk-in clients are welcome, however, appointments are preferred. Emergency cases receive top priority followed by clients with previously scheduled appointments.
Patient Arrival Policy
For your protection, and that of others, all dogs must be on a leash and properly controlled while in the waiting area or exam rooms. We recommend walking your dog before taking him/her in your car.
All cats must be presented in an appropriate cat carrier.
If your cat is afraid of your carrier, follow these instructions:
A few days before your scheduled visit (preferably 1 week), take your carrier out of storage and place it near your cat’s feeding area. Next, leave the carrier door open and put your cat’s favorite blanket and some toys in the carrier so it becomes a familiar part of your cat’s environment. After some time, place some of its favorite foods inside or on top of the carrier. Because the next stressful event for many cats is simply traveling in your car, which always means a visit to the vet clinic, minimize your cat’s fear by taking it for a couple of short rides before the day of your visit. Another helpful alternative would be applying products such as the Feliway spray to the carrier 30 minutes to an hour prior to your arrival. Feliway pheromones can help reduce the signs of stress your cat may be feeling while at the hospital.
***For more information, please visit our FEAR FREE link here.
Appointment Cancellation Policy
Unfortunately, like other medical practices, we also have the occasional late arrival or no-show appointment. We do try and manage these as apart from impacting on those who have arrived on time for their appointment; it has a negative impact on the medical team. Often there are cases being treated in hospital and the staff attempts to schedule their day to ensure that they can meet the needs of those patients and scheduled appointments. Arriving late or not showing at all impacts on their ability to manage treatments for these pets. Thus, we do have a few rules and guidelines that the staff work with in terms of late arrivals, cancellations, and no-shows.
Please be aware that our hospital has a policy wherein if you are more than 15 minutes late for your scheduled appointment time, we will be adjusting our schedule and moving you to the walk-in/urgent care service when you arrive. While we certainly understand that delays may happen, we feel we have an obligation and responsibility to do our very best to service clients and patients who are here for their appointments on time. We strongly encourage all our clients to arrive at least 15 minutes early for scheduled appointments if possible, as we do have administrative paperwork that will need to be completed, especially if you are a new client or have a new pet.
When you schedule an appointment and fail to show or call and notify us of your inability to keep this appointment time, it impacts our ability to service clients who may be here already waiting to see a doctor. If you fail to show or call and notify us about the difficulty in keeping your appointment time in more than three (3) occasions, you will be prohibited from scheduling an appointment with our medical staff. We will still see your pet, but it will be as a walk-in/urgent care arrival only following three subsequent no-shows for appointments. We recognize that your pet may need medical attention and we do not wish to turn your pet away, but you will be subject to any wait times associated with the walk-in/urgent care service.
If you must cancel an appointment, we ask for 24 hours’ notice without being financially responsible for the time. If the appointment is scheduled for Saturday or Monday, cancellation must be done the previous Friday, during business hours. For dental or surgical appointments, we ask for 48 hours’ notice. If the appointment is on Tuesday, the cancellation must be done the previous Friday, during business hours.
The following fees will be applied to your account for not calling as required.
Missed Office Visits – No shows & Late Cancellation Fees:
1st Missed Appointment – Our staff will call to ensure the wellbeing of you and your pet in addition to rescheduling your exam.
2nd Missed Appointment – a $29.00 fee will be applied to your account for canceling an appointment a second time with less than a 24 hours’ notice
3rd & Subsequent Missed Appointment – a $58.00 fee will be applied to your account for canceling an appointment a 3rd time and every subsequent time with less than 24 hours’ notice.
Missed Dental or Surgical Procedures:
For a Dental or Surgical procedure – a $250.00 fee (procedure’s deposit) will be applied to your account for canceling an appointment with less than 48 hours’ notice.
If for some reason payment is not collected at the time of the appointment, a late fee of $25.00 will be added to the invoice, weekly, up to four (4) consecutive weeks. After the 4th week, the outstanding balance/invoice will be sent over to a Collections agency.
We thank you in advance for abiding by these policies and helping us keep our clients, staff, and patients on schedule and safe!
Please understand that we have created this policy out of respect for those clients who are waiting to have their pets be seen.
Our goal is to serve you and your pet in every way possible. This includes ensuring your medical team provides the level of care that fits within your budget. It’s important that your financial commitment and responsibilities are made clear before treatment begins. In the case of an emergency, your pet will be stabilized before your medical options are presented.
Payment, in full, is required at the time services are rendered. Feel free to ask for an estimate of charges at any time. If your pet is admitted to the hospital, the veterinarian will ask you to leave a deposit (usually 50% of the estimated treatment charges). Moreover, the veterinarian and nurse will provide a treatment plan and estimate for these hospitalized patients.
Changes to Contact Information
In order to provide you with the highest level of customer service, such as receiving important notifications regarding your pet’s health (i.e. care reminders), it is vital that you keep our team notified of changes to any of your contact information. This includes email addresses, mail addresses, and correct mobile numbers (i.e. text messages for appointment reminders). Please also make sure to provide us with alternate contact information, and that way guarantee the message will be delivered.
It is our Hospital Policy not to accept new patients outside of our normal business hours. However, if your pet is a current patient of Del Mar Veterinary Hospital and an emergency should arise after hours, you may contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and be directed to Dr. Nieves. Please keep in mind, there are additional fees associated with any after-hours emergency services.
Accepted Forms of Payment
We accept Cash, Debit Cards, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, Scratch Pay, and Care Credit.