The Sims 4 Cats & Dogs: Guide To Running A Successful Vet Clinic
If your Sim has aspirations of helping animals then Cats & Dogs is the pack for you. The fourth expansion for The Sims 4, Cats & Dogs will allow Sims now only to own pets but also to purchase and run their own vet clinic. There’s a prebuilt clinic in Brindleton Bay and of course you can build your own or download one from the gallery.
Here we take a look at the basics of owning and running a successful vet clinic. Those who have run a restaurant or played the active doctor career will spot some patterns here in the way the mechanics work. Thankfully though, achieving a five star vet clinic is far easier than reaching the elusive milestone with a restaurant.
One of the great things about running a vet clinic is that the initial investment is low compared to similar options. Another advantage of a vet clinic over a restaurant is that you can open without hiring any staff, thus avoiding extra running costs. Your Sim can actually undertake all the required tasks themselves, making it much easier to start making a profit.
To begin all you need is a plot of land to build your clinic on and a few simple items. The bare minimum is a vet podium for patients to sign in, an exam table to conduct your checks and administer treatments and a waste disposal. You can even buy budget versions of these items which look rough around the edges but cost very little and still do the job.
The image above is my starter clinic which included the high quality version of the vet podium, exam table, medicine crafting table and medicine vending machine. There is a seperate waiting room, clinic and bathroom and some extra touches like chairs, a coffee machine and some food bowls and decor. The entire thing was still under $12k.
Once you’ve built or downloaded a suitable clinic to purchase it simply click the cash register icon in the bottom right corner and select buy a clinic. You could also buy a plot of land and build after purchase if you prefer.
Once you’ve purchased the clinic the default options for setup are absolutely fine but you can change your price markup, uniforms and treatment quality by clicking the edit icon (the wrench and store icon). These menus work in the same way as restaurants but there are fewer things you need to adjust.
Once you have the clinic you simply need to open it up and patients will begin to appear. When you start out they will trickle in but this is ideal as it gives you chance to get used to the mechanics. If they start coming too fast you can click the podium and select disallow new customers to stop the flow and let you catch up. It’s also good to use this feature before you intend to close so you can make sure patients are all seen and you aren’t trying to wait for a gap to close.
To treat an animal first wait for the owner to interact with the vet podium. Once they’ve done this you should be able to click on either the Sim or their pet to see a “greet patient” option. When you greet them it should give you a popup that will say the pet isn’t feeling well. Hitting the tick on this popup should trigger the examination process. If you find that examine pet hasn’t gone into your queue then you can click the exam table and begin the process manually. If anything bugs out try using testingcheats and resetting your sim or their pet.
For anyone who has played the active doctor career this next part will be familiar. You’ll need to choose from a range of examination procedures including take temperature, examine ears and inspect fur. As you complete teach check, symptoms will appear on the list and the treatment options will be narrowed down.
The best way to avoid mistakes is to examine the pet until the diagnosis appears under the symptoms list. At this point you can click on treatment and you’ll then see a green thumbs up next to the most appropriate option.
As you examine a pet they will get stressed, and some are stressed when they come in. Keep an eye on the stress level bar at the top left, next to the pets photo, and make sure you are using the calm pet option to keep it as low as possible. Ideally you’ll calm the pet when the bar is about half full to avoid being hissed at or bitten.
Once you’ve administered the correct treatment the pet will be cured. You can then click on the pet or owner to bill them and this should end that patients interaction with you, allowing you to greet the next person in line.
As your skill gets higher by diagnosing and treating, you can also purchase a surgery station which will help diagnose and treat conditions that you can’t identify the traditional way. You’ll only need to use this once your skill is higher and the process is the same as the exam table. If exams are yielding no information, move to the surgical scanner and use the diagnosis tools their to try and get a result.
As with restaurants, you can hire vets to help in the clinic. They will gain skill as they treat pets and you can also support them with enouragement and training. If you’re going to aim for a self running clinic you need to make sure everything is as smooth as possible.
Provide toilets and a break room for your staff as well as toilets for the patients. It’s also good to ensure all paths are clear to the exam tables. While vets can clean up they are often busy but don’t worry the pack has robot vaccums. A robot vaccum upgraded to handle wet messes will help keep things in order.
Vet clinics also use the perks system, similar to aspiration points, and you can purchase perks to hire extra vets, reduce training costs, increase patient patience and change your treatment quality. These will all help you to adjust service quality and markups to get the most profit out of your clinic.
How To Boost Your Star Rating
The basics are that simple; greet patient, examine pet, administer treatment. However, when it comes to reputation and stars there are a few things that help to get you those solid ratings. The growth opportunities you see displayed after each day should help you identify the gaps but there are also specific categories to build up. Here’s what you need to know.
- Wait Times
Low wait times are desirable. In order to keep them this way, purchase the patient patrons perk and then keep adding vets as your clinic becomes more popular. You’ll need enough staff to ensure no one is kept waiting long.
Sims love to be welcomed into a great environment. Place nice decorations and quality furniture that increases the environment score of the clinic. Playing music on a good quality reliable stereo also helps.
If you still need a boost and have the cash grab some expensive items with a high environment value and use the move objects cheat to scale them down and place them inside any items that Sims won’t need to directly interact with.
The final thing that really helps is the robot vacuum. Get an upgraded one (or upgrade it yourself) and make sure you frequently set it to run a cycle. If it’s stopped empty it out or send it back to its dock to charge between patients before restarting it.
In a large clinic you may need several vaccums to keep on top of the mess left by puking patients, something which has a hugely negative effect on your environment score.
Be friendly when you greet people, keep your vets in a good mood and try to use at least one extra positive interaction with each patient. A quick and simple social that really helps increase stars is using the “call good pet” interaction on an animal after an exam and before you bill their owner.
As mentioned before keep that pet stress bar low, ideally below 50%. If you have a pet that comes in very stressed you can also save time by using a shot to lower their stress level to zero and keep it that way.
These shots can be crafted on the medicine lab and are helpful for very twitchy animals who are in the red before you’ve even touched them. You can also make similar treatments for pets who need to undergo an operation.
- Quality of Treatment
You should be able to keep this high but unskilled employees can mess it up for you. Make sure you are ensuring other vets have access to everything they need to keep them in a good mood. You should also offer encouragement and training to help them make smart choices.
Watch your markup. If you raise this too fast then you’ll damage your reputation and end up with fewer customers. The aim is to increase slowly as you master the other areas that affect reviews.
Once you’ve got the basics down there are a couple of other ways to make some money. If you purchase a medicine lab you’ll discover that you can craft all kinds of treats and treatments.
The treatments to help ease pets stress on the exam table or operating table will make you a little extra profit and help you work faster. However, you can also passively make some money by making a variety of pet treats and adding them to the medicine fridge. This acts as a vending machine and customers will purchase directly from it without any input from you.
Next: The Sims 4: 10 Things You Need To Know Before You Buy Cats & Dogs
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Helen began playing games at an early age with her first computer being a hand-me-down Sinclair ZX Spectrum. It didn’t put her off… She is all grown up now but is still a gamer at heart, especially when it comes to The Sims and other strategy and simulation games.
She juggles the daily demands of life with a family and somehow still finds the time to indulge her two passions in life, writing and gaming; sometimes both at the same time.
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