Essentials PetCare, a network of veterinary clinics operating at Walmart stores, opened for contact-free visits in Calhoun on Tuesday with the goal of offering affordable veterinary service to more pet-friendly families as safely as possible.

The clinic, located inside the Walmart, 450 W. Belmont Drive, will offer routine veterinary care including vaccinations, minor illness exams and lab testing to cats and dogs in the local area.

Safe, contact-free visits will continue throughout the pandemic. Pet parents who choose to utilize these visits will drop their pets off at the front of the clinic and will then have the opportunity join a video call with the doctor to watch the entirety of the exam.

“We look forward to serving pets and their parents in the Calhoun area,” said Essentials PetCare’s founder and president, Douglas Spiker, DVM. “It’s exciting to expand access to safe, quality care at an affordable cost to more pet owners in Georgia, especially during this time of hardship for many pet owning families.”

In addition to vaccinations, minor illness exams and lab testing, the clinic will treat problems such as ear infections, skin conditions, urinary tract infections, stomach and intestinal issues. Pets needing surgical intervention, facing major illnesses, or an emergency situation will be referred to local veterinary hospitals.

According to the Essentials PetCare website, pricing for adult canine vaccines starts at $80 and caps at $170. The higher price point includes a rabies vaccine, distemper/parvo vaccine, the bordetella vaccine, leptospirosis vaccine, a heartworm test, an intestinal parasite test, comprehensive bloodwork and a urine test. A thyroid check can be added to that package for an additional $10. For adult cats, the pricing for vaccines begins at $55 and caps at $155. The higher price point includes a rabies vaccine, a core vaccine, an intestinal parasite test and comprehensive bloodwork, including a urine test.

More detailed pricing and service information can be found online at

Kelcey Walker is a reporter for the Calhoun Times in Calhoun, Ga.

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