Four-legged family members will feel at home immersed in a variety of couches, floor level windows and friendly smiles at District Veterinary.
The practice’s third and newest location (801 Second St. SE) opened last month in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood, and their caring staff are looking forward to meeting all the neighborhood cats and dogs. Dr. Dan Teich, the owner of District Vet, has been in the Washington metro area for nearly 20 years practicing veterinary medicine.
“I want your pet to think that they’ve walked into a living room,” Teich said. “When they arrive, I want them to feel like they’re at home. I want them to feel that we’re their friends and their neighbors because we are.”
In addition to floor level windows for the patients, each treatment room is equipped with glass doors for owners to easily keep an eye on their pets. Teich said this is important, not only to include owners in their pet’s care, but also to maintain a high level of transparency within the practice.
Teich’s own golden retriever, Brian, inspired much of the design of the Navy Yard clinic. “When we built it, I looked at it from his perspective,” Teich said of the clinic.
Dr. Dani Walker, the medical director for the new location, has been in the Washington area for nearly 10 years. After leaving the veterinary space for a pharmaceutical job, Walker found herself missing the practice and returned to help open the new location. Walker said she works to ensure that all of her patients are comfortable and relaxed during their visits to the clinic.
“We try to do the exams on the floor,” Walker said. “It’s just less scary than having to be lifted onto a table when you don’t know what’s happening as a patient.”
Creating a safe space for cats and dogs is at the forefront of the clinic design, Walker said.
“Patients are just terrified when they come to a veterinary clinic,” Walker said. “We want it to be a happy experience for the client and for the patient. If it’s happy for them, it’s happier for us.”
A Philosophy of Care
Community, Teich said, is extremely important to District Vet as a local business. He emphasized that each patient and client are more than a number.
“I opened District Vet to treat the clients and pets like I would want my dog to be treated if I took him to the vet,” Teich said. “And I look at that every single day.”
Teich said he meets with his staff every morning to talk about the incoming patients and how to make the experience smooth for the patients as well as their owners.
“The biggest goal of District Vet is to recognize veterinary medicine is not one size fits all,” Walker said. “Every client is different, every patient is different, and so we just want to fit their needs.”
Visiting the Location
Teich said the community response has been “extremely heartwarming” and expressed gratitude to the Navy Yard community. He emphasized that the clinic is always looking to improve through feedback and a continuous open dialogue with the community.
“You need us and we need you,” Teich said. “It’s a partnership, and if people have suggestions, if they have ideas, if they want a service, if they have a problem, we want to know. We’re open to continually improving what we do and how we do it.”
To make an appointment, you can call (202-888-2090), stop in to the location or make a request online. You can learn more about the new District Vet, the services they offer and request an appointment at www.districtvetnavyyard.com.
Sarah Payne is a general assignment reporter at Capital Community News. She can be reached at [email protected].