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How To Choose The Best Vancouver Veterinarian


Deciding on the best veterinarian in Vancouver for your pet is one of the most important decisions that a pet owner has to make. There are a lot of different considerations, and at the end of the day, your decision will, of course, have a big impact on the care and happiness of your pet. It may seem like a simple decision, but there are, in fact, many different factors that come into play and we hope to demystify some of them for you.


Check The Veterinarian’s Background

While this one may seem obvious – you assume that any veterinary clinic you walk into has the proper certifications, this is not always the case.  Veterinarians must train at a recognized university for at least six years to attain a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. Veterinarians are trained to protect the health of both animals and humans.

To practice as a veterinarian in British Columbia, a person must complete the minimum six years of study and meet the requirements of the College of Veterinarians of British Columbia which is the provincial regulatory body. All Vets must be registered and licenced with this governing body if they want to practice in BC.

Some veterinarians decide to specialize in such fields as surgery, radiology, dentistry, cardiology, and dermatology. This requires additional years of schooling.

Don’t hesitate to ask your veterinarian for his or her credentials. It is your right to know, and you shouldn’t feel awkward about it. Most veterinarians will be happy to tell you about their educational background.



This is usually one of the largest deciding factors when it comes to choosing a pet. While price is obviously a huge consideration, it shouldn’t be your only one. Before you book with a veterinarian, the staff should be able to give you typical costs for routine treatments. Make sure to ask the staff exactly what is included for any treatment or quote and get it in writing. If your pet is having surgery, find out whether there will be further charges for ongoing check-ups or medications. One of the most common complaints people have of veterinarians is the unexpected or surprise billing. A veterinarian often can’t fully diagnose a pet without examining them first and so asking questions to prepare and to educate yourself is one way that will prevent any of these surprises.

If your pet has an emergency or needs surgery, then it can get very expensive very quickly. It’s very hard to predict these types of charges so it is a good idea to consider pet insurance or to open a special savings account just for your dog or cat.



It’s obvious a no brainer to try to find a veterinarian close to your home. To begin with, it’s convenient and if there ever is an emergency, you will be able to get your pet there fast. Nobody likes to fight traffic and an extended trip can stress your pet out unnecessary. The best way to find veterinarians close to you is with a quick Google search.



Before you contact a veterinarian, you should look at their online reviews. Check on Google and Yelp to see what people are saying about them. Don’t just check out the number rating but read what is written about them to find any common thread, both good and bad. There will always be some outliers that you can disregard but if multiple people are saying something about a veterinarian then you probably want to pay attention.

Word of mouth is also very useful. Talk with other pet owners when you pump into them at the park or in your building about who they use and what their experiences have been. Like online reviews, word of mouth is just an opinion and should be treated as such.


Hours of Operation

Make sure that your vet’s hours are flexible enough that you are able to bring your pet in for regular check-ups or non-emergency treatment, especially if you work and can’t take time off. A lot of veterinarian hours vary so be sure to look online or ask if they are open weekday evenings or open on the weekend.


Veterinarian Staff

When bringing your pet in for any treatment, you want to know that he or she is in good hands. While the veterinarian obviously has to be knowledgeable with good communication skills you also have to consider the other staff.  How do they treat your pet? Do they make your pet comfortable or do they just try and get your pet in and out as quick as possible? One key aspect is to see how well the staff connect to your pet. For example, do they pat or refer to your pet by name? Make sure that the care providers of your pet are just as interested in their well-being as you are. Sometimes this is just a gut feeling you have about the staff, and while you have to respect their expert opinion, there are other more subtle clues as to how much the staff care.



It’s worthwhile to take your time to research your veterinarian because it will you headaches, time and money down the road.  Cypress Animal Hospital has been voted in the Georgia Straight as one of Vancouver’s vest veterinarian. We are conveniently located near Kitsilano Beach, just minutes away from the Burrard Street bridge.

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