One of my biggest pet peeves about Get to Work is that sick Sims cannot go visit the doctor, so when I heard about the Cats & Dogs expansion, I was really hoping that the vet clinic would be different – and it is!
The vet clinic is an owned business, like the retail businesses and restaurants in Get to Work, and, like the Get to Work businesses, can also be set up as a community lot venue, even if a playable Sim does not own the business.
Taking your pet to the vet:
The pets in your playable household can get sick. It’ll be fairly obvious when they’re sick, as they’ll show symptoms.
When they are sick your Sim can take them to the vet! If the clinic is owned it will still be staffed with an NPC if the owner is not on lot, so your pet can still get treated.
The process was fairly straightforward. There’s a check-in kiosk at the vet, and then your Sim and pet wait their turn. The vet will see them and then your Sim pays for treatment. You can choose the inexpensive treatment for §150, but that has some consequences – your pet will have to wear the dreaded Cone of Shame.
The expensive treatment set my Sim back §750 Simoleans, though, so sometimes the Cone is the way to go.
If your Sim’s pet is not sick, you can still take them to the vet for a checkup! You can either get a preventive shot for §200, or, if the vet clinic has a surgery station, you can have your pet spayed or neutered. This can be reversed, although it will take another surgery.
Running a Vet Clinic
Your Sims can also be the ones treating animals! There are two pre-made vet clinics available, Brindleton Pawspital, which is placed in Brindleton Bay, and the Country Clinic, which is in the Gallery. Owning a vet clinic can be pricey, though. The two pre-made clinics, are not cheap to buy – approximately 70k and 86k simoleans, but you can make your own! I managed to build a small no-frills clinic for just under §20,000. I got it even lower than that, but I had to give up the surgery station and the medicine crafting table. The clinic will still function without them, but services are more limited.
In any case, it is possible to buy a vet clinic even if your Sim is not rolling in the dough! The Sim that owns the above clinic is getting bad marks for ambiance, but hey, the clinic works, and is making some money. So hopefully she’ll be able to upgrade soon.
Tip: If you build your own vet clinic, placing the exam table is important. The vet needs some room around it – more than I originally thought. In the clinic pictured above, the exam table does not work with an NPC vet. I ended up moving the exam table up into the top right corner of the room it is in so that it had four spaces in front of it and six off to the left side of the side the vet stands on, and that seemed to work with an NPC vet. If you’re having trouble getting an NPC vet to see patients, try moving the table around!
Once you have your clinic, you can hire some employees. This is not mandatory – your playable sims can do everything – but when the clinic gets busier it may be the only way your Sims can keep up!
All employees are “Veterinarians”. There are no Vet Techs or Receptionists. You can, however, prevent employees from seeing patients through the management options, which is good for a control freak like me. You can order NPC employees to craft medicine for you, or just clean up around the clinic. The sick critters tend to make messes, so there is plenty of cleaning up to do!
Tip: If your hired veterinarian treats a patient when your owner sim is on the lot, then the owner will have to “Bill Patient” before they can leave (They’ll have a Simolean sign above their heads). I had one poor owner and dog stuck on the lot for quite a while before I figured that out!
The clinic owner or owners – you can have multiple controllable sims on the lot, as long as they are from the same household – can see patients and gain veterinary skill for doing so. If you’re familiar with the Get to Work doctor career this is similar. The veterinarian examines the dog or cat, performing various tests such as look in mouth and take temperature, and once they’ve identified enough symptoms they come to a diagnosis and give a treatment, then bill the owner, get paid, and see the next patient. As your Sims and their employees gain Veterinary skill they will get more socials to help treat sick critters and options at the crafting and surgery stations. For example, at level 2 my sim got the ability to craft “Swampwater Taffy” at the crafting station. The tooltip says that it will delight any pet and then have some “…other effects”. When my Sim gave it to her dog she ended up having to go to the vet and be treated for swamp mouth, so be careful with those vet treats!
What I liked:
I’ve always liked running businesses in Sims games, so this is right up my alley. My Sim was able to make a small profit even on her first day, so there is potential for a household to support itself with a vet clinic. Plus, helping animals, even Sim animals, does give me the warm fuzzies, and that can’t be overrated.
What I liked less:
Buying a vet clinic is pricey. This does make sense, as there is a lot of equipment needed. As I stated above, you can build one on a bit of a budget, but you’re not going to get really good reviews until you’ve put quite a bit of money into upgrades. I wish Sims could get business loans to help spread out that cost. I do this myself with the money cheat and a spreadsheet to track the loan payments and interest, but it would be great to be able to do this within game so that businesses aren’t restricted to wealthy sims. But that’s more about the game as a whole than this one expansion, so I won’t get on that soap box!
Taking your pet to the vet can be frustrating. I had to cancel the pending appointment and check in again at the kiosk several times, because it said that my pet should be being treated, but the NPC vet was doing other things such as mopping or playing on their phone. Cancelling the in-process appointment and checking in again did fix it both times, but my Sim and her dog ended up spending half the day at the vet.
Overall, though, I really like the Vet career. I am hoping I will like it even more as my Sims gain levels. One of the vampires in my legacy saved game has stated he would like to open an overnight clinic staffed by all vampires, and I am really looking forward to implementing this idea!
The Sims 4: Cats & Dogs will be released on 10 November. Check the Origin store for your local relase time!