A native of the Fox Chapel area has opened a new business in her hometown.
PetVet365, a full-service veterinary hospital located along Freeport Road in O’Hara Township, welcomes pets of all shapes and sizes.
It is owned and operated by Megan Garrison of Indiana Township with her business partner and fellow vet Meghan Theman of Lawrenceville.
The two met while studying to become vets at the University of Sydney in Australia in the early 2000s.
Garrison said she went to Australia as an undergraduate student at Vanderbilt University in Nashville to study business at Australia’s Bond University. She loved the country and wanted to go back.
“We have similar interests,” Garrison said of Theman. “We both love to travel and really love pets.”
Other PetVet365 vets are Fox Chapel area residents Meghan Fincher and Amanda Resek. Each has over 10 years of experience in the animal health industry. Fincher and Theman also have experience dealing with military dogs.
PetVet365 focuses on preventative care and dentistry. All vets handle a variety of appointments as well as same-day emergencies.
Fox Chapel was one of several PetVet365s to open in the United States. Other locations are in Kentucky and Cincinnati.
Garrison plans to open a location in Ross Park and another in Monroeville later this year.
Garrison grew up in O’Hara Township riding horses, playing with pet dogs and a turtle named Friday.
She graduated from Fox Chapel Area High School in 1998.
Garrison said she had no plans to become a veterinarian until she was in college.
“I was headed down a more commercial path, more into investment banking and decided at the last minute that it wasn’t for me,” she said. “I have always loved pets. It just seemed like the more I learned about it, the more I looked into it, the more interested I became in the profession as a whole.
“It is undeniable that it is not only necessary to help the animals, but also to do it in a way that appeals to customers. I also really enjoyed the business side of being a veterinarian. It’s being able to combine these two passions in one industry.
Garrison received a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and business administration from Vanderbilt University in 2002, and a bachelor’s degree in veterinary science and veterinary medicine from the University of Sydney in Australia in 2007.
Theman, formerly of Virginia, practiced in the San Diego area for 10 years and in Winchester and Virginia Beach, Va. for about three years before moving to the Pittsburgh area.
“We stayed in touch and I’ve visited Pittsburgh over the years,” Theman said. “It’s a cool town. I didn’t know much about it, but I really enjoyed everything Pittsburgh has to offer. Then this opportunity presented itself. With 15 years of friendship, it was kind of an easy (decision).
Choose the right place
Garrison and Theman acquired the building in July and began renovations in September.
It was a former mattress company at the intersection of Freeport Road and Old Freeport Road.
“Visibility was great, access was great,” Garrison said of the location. “Being very close to the Waterworks and the plaza just across the street makes it an easy location for people in that area. When we got here it was just a box.
Construction and grand opening plans have been delayed due to supply chain issues during the pandemic. The doors were finally opened shortly after Christmas.
PetVet365 offers the “Fearless Experience,” which includes mini-lounges instead of the traditional waiting room in animal hospitals or other medical offices.
There are treats and TVs in every room. Pet artwork and pheromones in rooms designed to calm pets. Patrons can also see the hospital’s mascot, Dixie, Garrison’s 2-year-old red Labrador.
Garrison said the goal is to have a positive experience for animals and their owners.
“You won’t find any exam tables (near the door),” she said. “You won’t see doctors with their white coats and that kind of thing. We shower them with treats while they’re here, and have lots of different tools we can use to distract ourselves… From the way the building is designed, the exam rooms, the way it’s furnished up how associates are all trained and certified to be able to engage with pets. That’s really the whole experience. We want it to be a warm and inviting environment.
Theman said there was a lot of positive feedback.
“People (say): ‘It’s the first time my pet has been happy at the vet, and they weren’t anxious. We didn’t have to put them to sleep and we didn’t have to nurse them. It was really nice to listen to people who have different experiences here. The “fearless” for me has really proven itself. I think people are more relaxed because it doesn’t look like a hospital. This carries over the leash to the animal.
Pet owners can get more information or schedule an appointment by going to petvet365.com/foxchapel.
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, email@example.com or via Twitter .