Full-service veterinary clinic Parker & Ace opens its first location on Friday, April 14 on H Street, Northeast, offering a membership model for pet healthcare. Members pay a $159 annual fee to cover medical and dental exams, urgent care, and 24/7 telehealth. (There’s an additional cost for tests and diagnostics.) Same- and next-day appointments can be booked through the clinic’s web platform, which also provides pet parents access to vaccine records and prescriptions.
“The goal is accessibility. We’re trying to reduce barriers in terms of price and other things that make people avoid the veterinarian,” says Alexis McLaughlin, co-founder and CEO of Parker & Ace.
Step inside the green-accented waiting area, and you’ll see a few elements intended to soothe apprehensive pets. Benches are outfitted with cozy nooks for cat carriers, and a canine-height television plays dog-friendly videos to keep furry patients entertained. Doors are designed to open and shut without spooking twitchy pets, and the office’s candle scent was developed with dog’s heightened sensitivity in mind. “We’re really trying to instill that it’s not a place to be scared of,” says McLaughlin.
The emphasis on pet comfort also extends to the care team. The majority of the vets and techs at the practice are fear-free certified, meaning they are trained to provide treatment while minimizing patient anxiety. Eventually, the entire practice will hold the certification.
Services such as annual physical exams take place in four exam rooms named after DC dog parks. An expansive back area houses X-ray technology, a laboratory, and stations for nail clipping and dental care. There’s also an onsite surgery room for procedures such as mass removals, spaying, and neutering.
The clinic is for all pet owners, but McLaughlin, mom to Goldendoodle Lily, notes it’s especially attuned to millennials—a demographic that is tech-savvy and treats dogs like family members (hello, puppy birthday parties). “Veterinary care options haven’t necessarily evolved to meet [millennial] requirements. They’re digitally native, they just expect an elevated experience,” says McLaughlin. “We really wanted to create a clinic that met their needs.”
Parker & Ace. 501 H St., NE. 202-519-4817.