In Seattle 29.5% of households have cats, 25.2% have dogs, and only 19.7% have children according to a report by the Seattle Times. These numbers are made obvious by a walk around Capitol Hill, you will often see people out walking their dogs.
According to Dr. Kari Johnson, a vet at Urban Animal in Capitol Hill, it’s interesting to work in Capitol Hill due to the high population density as well as ranges of financial ability, age, and ethnicity.
At Urban Animal, they strive to provide care for all different groups of people through a middle ground of what they are able to offer.
“Most all of us [at Urban Animal] worked in emergency rooms and sat up all night with animals on ventilators…that we knew were not going to make it…we want to have frank conversations with people,” Kari Johnson says.
Kari Johnson notes the differences between customers of different age groups, Baby Boomers wanting more time with the doctor and used to a slower pace, while millenials want in and out.
“They’ve done their research and made a diagnosis and they’re a very easy customer because they’ve educated themselves,” Kari Johnson says of millenials.
For Jeff Judas, the Owner of REX which provides dog grooming, self-service dog wash and pet supplies, many of the customers he see’s work at Amazon, Microsoft and Starbucks.
“Everybody’s got dogs,” Judas says, noting that they see all sizes of dogs from big to small.
REX offers a three tier concept, where owners can use the self-service system to wash their pets, or full service grooming including washing, blow-drying, trims and can add on a spa package including teeth brushing and a blueberry facial for your dog.
Urban Animal works on a no appointment system, which Johnson says makes the system faster, seeing from 60-100 pets a day with an average of 80.
While Urban Animal has a walk in clinic, City Cat goes to their clients.
City Cat started 8 years ago as a solely mobile clinic for cats, but 3 years ago expanded to include a storefront, which itself caters specifically to felines as the rooms are small and feel like a home says Eudora Johnson, who works at City Cat.
Because Cats can be very particular and often become difficult at the clinic or are hard to even bring in, the mobile service gives owners a hand in caring for their cats.
According to Eudora Johnson, the majority of the problems they see are elderly cats with health issues and annual exams for cats of all ages. Occasionally they treat cats that have been wounded by another animal or that have fallen out of windows.
“We saw a cat recently that fell from 9 stories and was totally fine, they say the higher up the cat is the less likely they are to be injured because they are able to right themselves in the air and land in a specific way,” Eudora Johnson says.
For Urban Animal, Kari Johnson estimates that they do a lot of preventative care such as vaccines, worming, fleas as well as treatment of stomach issues.
Kari Johnson notes that it’s important to establish a repo ire with the client as well as the animal, so that there is trust in the relationship.
Jaime Cara, owner of Cosmic Pet, see’s her business as more than just a job and really falls in love with animals.
Cosmic Pet, which started in 1998 in Cara’s basement, now provides dog training, dog walking, dog sitting, cat sitting, overnight pet sitting and pet taxi services. Though they are based in Capitol Hill, they service all of Seattle from Shoreline to Rainier Beach.
In the last ten years Cara has focused on expanding the business, especially now that the competition has grown exponentially, with people seeing it as a money making opportunity.
Cara says that she hopes to keep the business at a size where they can provide a specific level of care.
“It fills my heart, it makes me feel like I’m giving the love part, it’s fulfilling to my soul, it’s unconditional love and they rely on you,” Cara says.