TIJUANA, Baja California — Not everything having to do with the Mexican border is political in nature. News 8’s John Howard took a trip beyond the border to see how San Diego County residents are crossing into Mexico to save money on veterinarian care.
It’s a quick drive across the border with John’s dog Tiki in the back seat.
We soon arrived at the Tijuana offices of Dr. Jose Carlos, aka Dr. Zoo.
It’s been a while since Tiki had his teeth cleaned, which costs about $100 in Dr. Zoo’s Tijuana office (and that includes anesthesia).
Turns out, Tiki is doing fine.
“No urgency. But maybe two weeks to one month and we’ll do the teeth,” said Dr. Carlos.
Take a look around Dr. Carlos’ lobby and you'll discover about 80 percent of his clients live in the United States.
“Pricewise it's totally different. I couldn't afford both of my dogs to be treated (in the U.S.),” said client Gloria Vasquez, who lives in Chula Vista with her dogs Popeye and Camilla.
Saving money is the main attraction.
“The Americans are looking for cheaper prices but also quality of service. If you don't give quality service, the Americans don't come back again,” said Dr. Carlos.
Chico, a small chihuahua breed, lives in Chula Vista. At age 15, he needs extra special care.
“We already knew that my dog is getting up in age. We're just trying to make it more comfortable for him for whatever time he has left,” said owner Dario Martinez.
Popeye and Camilla stopped by for a teeth cleaning.
“These are my babies. These are like my kids. And one of the things that I really like is that (Dr. Zoo) treats them with respect and also with love,” said Vasquez.
Dr. Zoo also provides grooming services and vaccinations for $16 each, as well as x-rays, blood tests and surgeries.
If you're worried about the long wait getting back into the States, John Howard said he drives to the border and walks across. It takes about 15 minutes each way, he said.
As with any doctor, do your homework and background research before deciding on the right veterinarian for your pet.