From scales to tails, and feather to fur, more Canberrans are welcoming pets into their homes than ever before. Be it a dog, cat, bird, fish, or something a little more exotic, we are a nation of animal lovers indeed. In fact, Australia boasts one of the highest rates of household pet ownership in the world.
As the givers of unconditional love, it is no surprise that the bond shared with our pets is like no other. They bring out our softer side, encourage us to be more active, and at times even more social. Such are the impacts that scholars the world over have recorded countless medical benefits for owners from decreased blood pressure, triglycerides, and more.
While they improve our health and quality of life dramatically, we too care for them. If you have a four-legged or feathered friend, you will know just how important a veterinarian is. From vaccinations, to oral health, microchipping, and general concerns they are bedrock when it comes to your pet’s wellbeing.
That said, not all veterinarians and their clinics offer the same level or care or servicing. The good news is that we have shortlisted the leading vets in the Canberra region.
What makes a great vet?
The best vets are impeccably skilled animal health practitioners crusading for the wellbeing of creatures who cannot speak for themselves. Their passion, compassion, and considered approach ensures our pets health – and happiness for years to come.
- Animal afficionados. The best vets are not only animal afficionados; they have a genuine affinity for their care. First impressions often last, so look for real passion – and importantly compassion – to put your mind at ease. Finally consider a vet with a disposition suited to your paw-pal for the best chance of fostering a connection.
- Accredited & experienced. All practicing vets will be the proud owners of a doctorate in veterinary science and professionally accredited. In Australia vets are accredited at state level, so check the Veterinary Practitioners Board for those practicing in the ACT. Moreover, the best will also be members of peak industry body, the Australian Veterinary Association. While foundation qualifications are essential, what really counts is experience. A such, look for vets with a solid track record under their belts.
- Recommended & reputable. Much like doctors, finding a reputable vet is often as easy as asking around. Personal recommendations from family, friends, or colleagues are often a great way to start researching. Equally, client reviews online along with broader pet health care websites can be helpful too. Finally, if you hold pet insurance it might be worth consulting your provider for clinic recommendations.
- Services & need match. With varied pet ages and stages, it pays to find a vet equipped with the skills to service your needs. For instance, younger pets may benefit from clinics under which multiple generalist services are offered. These services may include vaccinations, microchipping and desexing, along with x-rays, pathology, and ultrasounds. Contrastingly, older pets may require more specialised services such as oncology, ophthalmology, or dermatology.
- Convenient & available. A final minor, yet important factor is your vet’s location and availability. Considerations such as travel time, opening hours, and location all should be considered. Availability for your vet of choice and short waiting times all help when needed. Also look for what after-hours or emergency care is available.
The best vets in Canberra
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
Capital Veterinary Hospital
Locally owned and operated by Dr Ashrafi, Capital Veterinary Hospital have built a swift reputation for quality care and consistent service. Their boutique offering is home to small team of veterinarians, nurses, and support staff ensuring you see the same carers each time.
While they offer a range of generalist medical services, what sets this practice aside is their specialisation in complex surgical procedures. Among these are soft tissue, orthopaedic, and cruciate surgeries, alongside fracture repairs.
Conveniently located in Phillip and open six days, this team also provides emergency services for existing clients.
Katrina Buttriss shared praise for the team on Google, “I just wanted to say a big thank you to all the wonderful staff who have looked after my fur babies with such love and respect, every time we have visited them.”
Northside Veterinary Centre
For more than fifteen years, the devoted team at the Northside Veterinary Centre have worked together to provide high-quality and personal service to Canberra’s pets and pet-owners.
With more clinics owned by enterprise organisations, Northside Veterinary Centre are proud to offer non-corporate community-centred veterinary care.
Headed by Dr Adamson and Dr Oakes, this team of five full time vets, nurses and support staff adopt a team approach for the care of your pets. Offering a range of services from general consultations, to emergency, and surgery are a great local choice.
Beth Cribb had this to say about the centre, “Great vet! Compassionate and caring, down to earth advice. Great facilities and large comfortable consulting rooms.”
Small Friends Veterinary Hospital
Since its inception in 2004, Small Friends Veterinary Hospital have built an impeccable reputation amongst past and present clients. Their first-class service, exemplary standard of animal care, and trusting professional approach are hallmarks of their offering.
Home to three vets and a team of nurses and support staff, this boutique practice specialises in small animals and household pets. Small Friends Animal Veterinary Hospital offers a comprehensive range of services from general consultations all the way through to complex surgery.
Located in Amaroo and open six days a week, Small Friends Animal Veterinary Hospital is an excellent choice.
Daniel Chisholm shared this glowing review on Google, “Always friendly and professional. I have complete faith in the wonderful team at Small Friends Vet who have tended to our animals for the last 15 years."
Belconnen Animal Hospital
With an ethos anchored in the delivery of quality pet care, Belconnen Animal Hospital are well placed to deliver to your medial and surgical needs. They hold the philosophy that prevention is better can cure, and endeavour to care for your pets to ensure long, happy, and comfortable lives.
Recent changes in ownership have seen numerous improvements including state of the art technology and expanded service capability during business and emergency hours. Services include dentistry, behaviour, vaccinations, pathology, and more. Located in Weetangra the hospital is open six days a week.
Helen Day shared this great experience on Google, “The staff clearly love animals! Very helpful and supportive of us and our new puppy, particularly as we have absolutely no experience.”
The Village Vet
Proudly local, The Village Vet, turns the ‘white coat’ effect on its head by creating a nurturing and homely environment for owners and their pets. They aim to provide families and their fur babies with a more comfortable and caring veterinary experience.
With over fifteen years of experience caring for feathered and furry friends their team offers a range of medical and surgical of services. With a separate
Located in Downer and open six days, they are a perfect choice for your household pet.
Natasha Crawford had this to say on Google, “Amazing staff, the vets are kind and patient, they really listen to what you have to say and take any concerns seriously. Lovely, safe environment for all animals. They have separate areas for cats and dogs to ensure every pet feels comfortable.”
There is a lot that comes with providing the best care for your pet. For urgent care see our article on the best emergency and after-hours vets in Canberra.
Moreover, our articles on the best dog trainers, the best dog groomers, the best pet shops and pet supplies may help.
If you are a looking for somewhere for your pet to stay look to our articles on the best dog walkers and pet sitters, the best dog boarding kennels and catteries, and the best doggy daycare may be helpful.
Finally, if you’re looking to adopt another furry friend, our article on the best places for rescue dogs in Canberra may be of interest.
Your experience with vets in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the vets listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a veterinarian do?
Veterinarians service the healthcare needs of animals, much like doctors do for us humans. Commonly referred to as ‘vets’, veterinarians generally practice in hospital or clinic settings where they treat animals, including our beloved pets.
Why should I take my pet to the vet?
Veterinarians play an important role in maintaining the health and wellbeing of your pet. They monitor current states; diagnose and manage diseases; and treat sick or injured animals. As our pet’s mask symptoms easily, regular visits to the vet to help to keep them in tip top shape and prevent future illnesses.
How often should I take my pet to the vet?
The frequency of vet visits tends to depend on your pets age and their individual health needs. That said, most veterinarians recommend that you take your pet to them at least once a year for an annual wellness assessment. Additionally, take your pet to the vet as needed for any issues such as illness or incident which may arise.
What does a wellness check involve?
Regular wellness checks allow your vet to prevent, detect, or treat any health issues before they become life threatening. A typical wellness check may include a physical examination, diagnostic test, and a faecal examination.
Why should I vaccinate my dog or cat?
Vaccinations protect your pet from highly contagious diseases, and prevents the transmission of those that pose a risk to humans. For specific advice on vaccinations please consult your vet.