We want the best for our pets: we spend time walking them, buying them expensive products, let them rule our hearts and our homes. Even so, some people don’t thoroughly vet their animal hospital. It’s a sad fact that there are different levels of service across the healthcare industries, including for pets. Do a little research to find the best Vancouver veterinary hospital before choosing the vet for your pet.

When to Choose a Vancouver Veterinarian

Vancouver is a competitive city, with everyone needing to book a table, a camping spot, hockey tickets, hiking passes, or even veterinary hospital appointments right now. The time to find a veterinarian is before you need one. The best vet hospital for your pet won’t necessarily be the nearest or the one with an available appointment on the same day. You want to make a thought-out and informed decision when it comes to pet care, not in a rush and then having to wait because you are a new client. You want to be registered at a Vancouver vet before you find a potential health issue with your dog, your cat gets into a scrape, or your turtle gets into a low-speed collision.

Check Out the Facilities

While dogs get a sense of people and places from scent, we humans use our eyes. You can usually get a quick idea of the quality of a place by attending in person. Is it clean? Does it seem well equipped? Does it feel invested in? Are the clients happy? You wouldn’t placidly accept medical care for yourself if the equipment looked unfit for purpose or the place was unclean. Don’t accept any less for your pet.

How is the Team?

Small, medium, and large white dogs running across the park

First impressions are important. Does the staff at this veterinary hospital seem friendly, compassionate, and welcoming? If it takes too long to be noticed, it could be a sign that they are overworked or have stopped being attentive. However, that’s not always the case. Veterinarians are often busy and Vancouver is a bustling city, so use your judgement.

If they are busy, do they seem overwhelmed and like their workload could affect their performance? The veterinarian should be able to answer your questions and leave you feeling confident in their abilities.

Look into What Types of Services Are Available

Your Vancouver vet hospital should be equipped for pet services both big and small, essential and non-essential. Can they even take your pet? Cats and dogs are the most common pets, so the majority of vets will do excellent work on these animals. But if your snake won’t stop chasing its tail, your hamster has strep throat, or your fish has agoraphobia, you might need a more specialized veterinarian.

veterinarian with a parrot on her shoulder

Having one place you can go to regularly will save a lot of hassle. Ask the clinic what their facility can offer. The top tier will offer dental, surgical, x-ray, and lab testing services. Although, that doesn’t mean they aren’t excellent if they specialize in a particular aspect of veterinary medicine. Also look into their ear and tooth cleaning and nail trimming services for general upkeep of your pet’s health and hygiene.

Discuss Their Approach to Pet Care

There is no single philosophy around pet care. Not all veterinarians approach wellness and holistic healing in the same way. You may have an ideology as a pet parent which doesn’t quite mesh with your vet.

A dog shaking hands and looking happy

Discuss your ideas around raising a healthy pet and see if their style works with your own. There’s nothing worse than entering into a long-term relationship (of any kind) with someone whose fundamental values are contrary to your own. This is just as true when it comes to your pet’s care and health.

Vancouver Veterinary Hospital Wait Times

While vet hospitals in Vancouver do get very busy—everyone and their mother has a dog here—if they have people waiting a long time who seem happy to stay, that’s actually a sign of excellent service. A great waiter can get orders taken, everything served to you, and your bills split and ready to pay at speed, but you want your veterinarian to take their time with each pawed or padded patient rather than rush to get the next one through the door.

A tiny dog waiting patiently by its owner's wristwatch

Appointment availability is important. You can get excellent service after a wait, and emergency cases will naturally be given priority. Weigh the wait times against your schedule and how often your pet may need to see the veterinarian.

Ask About Emergency Pet Care

Not all Vancouver animal hospitals can offer emergency services for your pets. You always want to hope for sunshine and prepare for rain—even more so in rain city.

Dog recovering from emergency surgery at a vancouver vet hospital

If you can secure a regular veterinarian who also offers emergency care, this will only benefit your pet should something happen. Any practitioner who knows an animal’s medical history will be better equipped to care for them. You will also have an existing relationship with the vet, so they will put you more at ease and you’ll be confident in their abilities.

Ask About Billing and Payments

You want to be informed about cost before your pet undergoes any treatment. Even if you have pet insurance, veterinary care can be expensive. Make sure your economic situation is clear so you don’t end up spending more than you can pay back. They should inform you of when payments may be due and any repayment plans that they can offer.

A cat glaring at a laptop screen with expensive vet bills

List of Highly Rated Vancouver Veterinary Hospitals

Image credits:

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