Playing Vet Clinics in Sims 4
The Sims 4’s ownable vet clinic is available to players who buy the Cats and Dogs Expansion. This new feature borrows heavily from the Get to Work Doctor Career, as well as that DLC’s Retail feature and Veterinarian Skill which ties in with the business ownership feature, but is not exclusively used for operating a clinic. You can learn more about the skill levels and what they unlock by visiting that guide. For now, know that you’ll gain vet skill while working on patients and can also improve the skill by practicing lab work at the medicine crafting station. I suggest you get 2-3 levels before you open your clinic, so that your Sim will make less mistakes while interacting with their furry patients.
Starting a Vet Clinic
The bare minimum needed to create a vet clinic. Decorations would improve the place, but this is all you need and it can be made for less than $6000.
To start a vet clinic, use your Sim’s phone and go to the Career/Household tab. There you can find the ‘buy a vet clinic’ option. You’ll need at least $10,000 though more is recommended. The money is transferred to a separate business account. You can pay yourself from this account, though you may need to deposit more funds if your business isn’t making money. Some of the initially deposited money is just to pay for a lot on which to build the clinic. You can certainly start very small, but want to purchase a lot that will leave a little room for expansion. Your clinic could be just a couple of medium sized rooms.
A few items are needed to qualify as a vet clinic. You’ll need a Vet Podium (what customers use to sign in), an exam table (the minimum equipment required to treat animals), and some form of waste disposal (a trash can!). The surgery station (required to cure more advanced diseases), medicine crafting table, and vending machine are optional items.
Once you’ve constructed all this, you’re ready to open your business for the first time.
Treating Your First Patient
Greet the owner, and you’re off to examine and treat the pet in your examination room.
When you’re ready, you can use the bottom-right business management panel to open the business. You’ll have to do a little waiting for patients, but they’ll show up at all hours. In order to treat a sick animal, simply greet the Sim or their pet when they come in. Your Sim and the patient will head to the exam table after you’ve confirmed a small dialog box that pops up with a message from the owner.
Once at the exam table, your Sim must examine the pet by taking their temperature, checking out their skin, etc. As you do this, symptoms will be revealed. I have a handy list of Pet Sicknesses that can be handy for reducing the number of tests you need to perform, allowing you to get on to other patients.
Every now and then, you’ll need to calm the patient to keep their stress down. Some pets start stressed. This takes more time, but you cannot treat the pet and the owner may get upset if you stress their animal too much. An industrial strength relaxation serum can be used when the pet has 5 or so symptoms, because it means your veterinarian may need to run more tests to discover the illness. Craft these at the medicine crafting table where you can also store them – more info at the Veterinarian Skill Page. At Veterinarian skill level 5, you unlock the Soothe Pet interaction, which seems to be a better version of ‘calm’ in that it may prevent stress from building up so quickly from exams.
When the symptoms are all revealed, your Sim should know what sickness the pet has caught. Go to the treatments menu and pick the one with the ‘thumbs up’. Treatments are ruled out as you go, so if you go to this menu before you’ve finished revealing symptoms you will see options with a question mark. Those are the treatments your Sim’s not yet ruled out.
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Keep the animal’s stress down for the duration of the exam in order to score extra points with the owner.
Once the exam is done, you can click the pet and ‘bill owner‘ or ‘dismiss patient’ on the owner. The pet version seems more reliable. Sometimes they dismiss and pay automatically once the treatment’s finished, but you may still want to dismiss them. The final star rating will be added to your business’ star rating, which seems averaged based on more recent customer reviews. If you get the bug where the owner isn’t paying, you may want to save, close the game, and restart it. Some people have repaired the game in origin. Someone will surely remind me to strike this from the guide when the bug is fixed!
Treating Patients will give you perk points, which can be spent in the business management screen to give temporary and permanent boosts to your clinic. Each boost is specific that one business only. Perk points are not accumulated when employees use interactions. You’ve got to be the one treating the pet. This keeps it from snowballing should you open the clinic while you’re away from the lot and preserves the sense of progression.
Profits from Veterinarian
The amount of profit you get is determined by the markup. You can access this by going to business settings on the business management interface. A 100% markup is standard. Higher values will lower the star rating of your business, assuming you lack the level of service to back up such high prices. Lower prices might help increase customer satisfaction when you’re just starting out. The amount you receive seems to be $100 + medicine cost times the markup. A 100% markup should be double medicine cost, but the multiplier appears to be 1. So $125 for a 100%, $137 for 150% and $150 for 200% for a standard treatment. More expensive treatments (when appropriate) therefore pay more.
The number of customers and difficulty of patients are based entirely off your clinic’s star rating. The factors that influence star rating are listed here:
- Wait Times – Lower wait times are better for customers. This is largely determined by having an appropriate amount of employees relative to your star rating, and your ability to juggle many customers. Always serve those who got their first because this rating is based on a timer that counts down.
- Environment – Having ‘beautifully’ decorated is a huge boost vs having a messy or ugly place with unfinished walls. Additionally a separate boost is provided by having quality music playing in the waiting area. Get a good reliable stereo and let it play.
- Bedside Manner – Being kind with your greeting and being friendly with owners and their pets in general is advised. Use a friendly social on each before you dismiss them if it won’t have a huge impact on wait time for multiple customers. This is mainly an issue with employees – angry employees who are mean to customers can mess up your star rating. See the Employees section.
- Pet Stress – Don’t let the animal get a full red bar, and even better keep it below half if you can. The owners appreciate if it’s not a scary experience for their cat or dog.
- Quality of Treatment – Every now and then your vet will mess up and toss a cone of shame on a pet, but you should in general be able to get the treatment correct on the first try. Again, a bigger issue with an unskilled employee.
- Value of Service – Base your prices upon your strengths in all the areas above to also get a decent value of service. Charging 200% on a low ranking business may get you a boost on one patient, but you’ll be waiting more time for new patients to show up. If you have every single one of these categories checked off, it’s safe to charge 200%.
The Vet Clinic will eventually need an employee to help out if you hope to serve a large number of customers. The employees are veterinarians, who can handle some of the customers for you and will work when the clinic is open but your vet is at home. Hire a veterinarian by going to the bottom-right menu where you manage your business. Find the ‘manage employees’ button. You only start with one slot, but you won’t need more at a one-star place. People will be afraid you’ll kill their pet and you’ve got to prove yourself first. Pick any employee, as low skill levels just means cheaper pay. I’d put more emphasis on the vet and charisma skills than maintenance/handiness.
Employees can be trained for a fee, but they’ll gain skills naturally as they work. As they level up in the three skills, they’ll start to demand more pay. A satisfied employee is a happy employee, and you don’t want them being snippy with customers. Besides that, they are earning money for the owner (you) and can treat more patients with a higher vet skill level. Use the promote button on the employee management screen to give an employee. Praise them occasionally when they do a good job, and this will also raise their job satisfaction. It allows you to be cheap but nice for a time until you can afford to give them a raise. The hourly pay is based on the promotion level – each bump up to level 5 is a $10 raise (max $50).
source: The Sims 4: Vet Clinics