I took my puppy to the vet towards the end of last year as he had a skin condition. The vet did not help, and in fact made the situation worse, confirmed by my new surgeon who has now resolved the issue with the correct treatment. This was expensive for me. What can I do about this?

Taking a pet to the vet for treatment is considered a ‘professional service’ in relation to consumer legislation.

As with any professional service, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 requires that the service you receive be provided with reasonable care and skill.

What can I do if I am unhappy about the service received?
If you are unhappy with the level of the service or the treatment that your pet has received for the skin issues, and you can prove that the original treatment was substandard, then you may be able to argue that the vet has not used the required level of reasonable care and skill by law.

Your new vet may be able to provide a report as evidence, highlighting the correct treatment conducted and how this was different to the first course of action.

Repeat of Service / Refunds

Due to the fact that your puppy’s skin issues have now been resolved, it is not possible for the service to be repeated, so you could ask for a partial refund with consideration towards the level of service you ultimately received from the original vet. You may also be able to ask the first vet to cover any additional costs that you may have incurred as a result of any substandard service received, provided you can provide evidence of these losses and that you have taken steps to keep them to a minimal.

How do I take the complaint further? 
If you are thinking about raising a formal complaint, we would suggest doing it by letter and signed for post, or you could send an email requesting a read receipt from the intended recipient as evidence.

You may also wish to report the first vet to a relevant trade body to investigate your concerns.

You can report this to the Veterinary Client Mediation Service if the vet is a member of this voluntary scheme on 0345 040 5834, or by visiting

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons may also be able to help. More information is available at , or  by calling 0207 222 2001.

Advice Direct Scotland run, and are the official consumer partner to the Scottish Government.

Scottish citizens can get free, practical, and impartial advice and information on a range of consumer-related issues, including understanding your consumer rights; what to do if there are issues with purchases; as well as sources of additional support that are available. 

You can contact our specialist consumer advisers by calling 0808 164 6000, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm, or by visiting