The 17 best vets in the Philly area – The Philadelphia Inquirer

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To an old school Philadelphian, the “vet” (ahem, Veterans Stadium) has one meaning — but your dog knows that word from a mile away, and it doesn’t mean football. Taking a beloved pet to the veterinarian is a stressful experience for both humans and animals: A 2019 study found that half of all dogs experience fear at the vet’s office with one in seven exhibiting severe or extreme fear. But finding a trusted care provider, who understands you and your pets needs, can make all the difference.

“Choosing a veterinarian can be stressful for new pet parents and, of course, is an important choice as you bring a new family member home,” says Gillian Kocher, director of public relations for the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PSPCA). “Luckily in the Philadelphia area, we have so many wonderful veterinary practices.”

Truly, there are almost as many veterinary options in the greater Philadelphia area as there are furry friends to take to them. The University of Pennsylvania’s veterinary school and its alumni dominate the field alongside specialized practices, state-of-the-art emergency services, and even one mindfulness-based vet practice.

With so many options, though, how do you pick the best vet for your pet friend?

“One of the best ways to help choose is to ask your friends who they bring their pets to — good references always rank first,” says Kocher. “If your friend had a good experience, you likely will too!”

Whether your pet is a cat, dog, farm animal, or exotic — a category that includes small mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians — here’s our guide to vets, emergency vets, and low-cost clinics in the Philadelphia region.

FULL-SERVICE VETS

Queen Village Animal Hospital

Animals treated: Dogs and cats

When it was named Best in Philly in 2012, Philadelphia Magazine touted the hospital’s cult following — and it’s easy to understand why: the full-service veterinary hospital boasts four on-staff doctors, an in-house pharmacy, and a library of online resources to educate new dog and cat owners. When the COVID-19 pandemic challenged their traditional service model, Queen Village Animal Hospital pivoted to telehealth services through the AIRVET app, which connects concerned pet parents to on-demand veterinarians 24/7. The practice continues to offer these virtual services for non-urgent veterinary matters.

📍 323 Bainbridge St., 📞 215-925-5753, 🌐 queenvillageah.com/emergency-urgent-care

Animedic Veterinary Hospital

Animals treated: Dogs and cats.

Serving northwest Philadelphia with locations in Manayunk and Mt. Airy, Animedic provides exams and consultations, nutritional counseling, preventative medical care, vaccinations, diagnostics, and surgery. Animedic is owned and operated by veterinarian Jennifer Jones — a rarity in an increasingly corporate industry.

📍 Manayunk: 102 Jamestown Ave.; Mt. Airy: 7110 Germantown Ave., 📞 Manayunk: 267-297-7950; Mt. Airy: 267-748-2848, 🌐 Manayunk: theanimedic.com; Mt. Airy: animedicatmtairy.com

Philadelphia Animal Hospital

Animals treated: Dogs and cats.

Located in southwest Philadelphia near the airport, the hospital provides full-service wellness exams, general and elective surgeries, behavioral and mobility evaluations, and an in-house lab for quick blood work results. The practice is located on the five-acre campus of Philadelphia Pet Hotel and Villas, which offers boarding and spa services. Their extensive campus includes the “Second Chance” pet-friendly pool, available by appointment for their current patients and non-clients after an initial examination. The pool is open to dogs — and cats if they’re willing to get wet — for rehabilitative and recreational use.

📍 7401 Holstein Ave., 📞 215-724-5550, 🌐 philadelphiaanimalhospital.com

World of Animals

Animals treated: Dogs and cats.

With locations in Rittenhouse, Mayfair, South Philadelphia, and the suburbs, World of Animals is a neighborhood choice for people across the region. The practice offers physical examinations, dental care, vaccinations, spaying and neutering, flea and tick control, allergy testing and treatment, and surgical care, as well as limited emergency phone services and dog boarding in Huntington Valley.

📍 Multiple locations in the greater Philadelphia area, 🌐 wofainc.com

2nd Street Animal Hospital

Animals treated: Dogs, cats, and exotics

If your pet friend is, perhaps, feathered or scaly, 2nd Street Animal Hospital has more than 25 years of treating exotic pets in Philadelphia. In addition to their dog and cat services, the hospital offers routine examinations, disease screening, lab testing, dental, surgical and diagnostic services — including in-house labs and pharmacies — for reptiles, birds, and small mammals.

📍 966 N. Second St., 📞 215-516-7000, 🌐 2ndstreetvet.com

Mt. Airy Animal Hospital and Andorra Vet Clinic

Animals treated: Dogs and cats.

Serving northwest Philadelphia since 1947, Mt. Airy Animal Hospital and its Andorra clinic offer four full-time vets, one surgeon, and an in-house pharmacy to provide a full range of diagnostic, wellness, dental and surgical services for your pet. The hospital also offers cat and dog boarding, so you can relax on vacation knowing your pet is being cared for by a team of trained veterinary professionals.

📍 Mt. Airy: 114 E. Mt. Airy Ave.; Andorra: 638 Ridge Pike, Lafayette Hill; 📞 Mt. Airy: 215-248-1886; Andorra: 610-825-6622, 🌐 mtairyvet.com

Companion Pet Hospital

Animals treated: Dogs, cats, and exotics.

Kocher takes her own pets to this South Philly mainstay. The hospital offers veterinary and surgical services, as well as grooming, to cats, dogs and exotics. Companion also makes environmentally friendly practices a part of its practice: The hospital was built with reused and recycled materials, is paperless, and its core values include using ”intention in our actions and words” and staying “aware of the impact that we have on ourselves and others.”

📍 1524 S. 15th St., 📞 215-703-PETS (7387), 🌐 companion-pets.com

Northern Liberties Veterinary Center

Animals treated: Dogs and cats.

Another vet practice with a devoted fan base, Northern Liberties Vet Center sees dogs and cats for wellness, diagnostic, surgical, dental, allergy and dermatological services, and has an in-house pharmacy.

📍 622 N. Second St., 📞 215-923-1838, 🌐 nolibsvet.com

City Cat Vets

Animals treated: Cats.

A specialty cat-only practice in Graduate Hospital, City Cat Vets is run entirely by female and femme veterinarians, techs and staff. They offer routine wellness, dental and surgical care, as well as on-site radiology and ultrasound. The office is certified gold by the American Association of Feline Practitioners as a cat-friendly practice, whose program leads the movement toward making vet care less stressful for cats. In practice, that means cats are handled gently and not scruffed, given time to adjust to their surroundings, and experience calm waiting areas and exam rooms, free of barking dogs or other distressing stimuli.

📍 2210 South St., 📞 215-545-2287, 🌐 citycatvets.com

EMERGENCY VET SERVICES

No one wants to think of their pet in distress, but when the time comes, it’s important to know where to turn. “We are lucky that in the Philadelphia area there are many options for a pet emergency,” says Kocher. “There is Penn Vet, Blue Pearl Emergency, [and] Philadelphia Animal Specialty & Emergency. These are all places that we use here at the Pennsylvania SPCA when our animals need overnight care.”

If you need emergency help online, Kocher says that the ASPCA has a poison control line, and several practices that now do veterinary telehealth. “But we still think it is best to see a veterinarian as soon as possible in an emergency,” Kocher says.

University of Pennsylvania Ryan Veterinary Hospital

Animals treated: Dogs, cats, and exotics.

If Penn dominates the city’s medical community, it’s no surprise to learn that their reach extends into the veterinary world as well. Penn Vet’s Ryan Veterinary Hospital remains one of the top recommended emergency vets in the city. In addition to being one of only four private vet educational institutions in the country, the hospital offers a full suite of traditional vet services, as well as a 24/7 emergency hospital. Penn Vet also sees livestock and farm animals for regular and emergency visits at the New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, PA.

📍 3900 Spruce St., 📞 215-746-8911 for emergencies; 215-746-8387 to make an appointment, 🌐 vet.upenn.edu

Blue Pearl Pet Hospital

Animals treated: Dogs, cats, and exotics.

Blue Pearl is a network of nationwide emergency animal hospitals with locations in South Philadelphia, Conshohocken, Levittown, and Malvern. Like Ryan Veterinary Hospital, Blue Pearl locations offer traditional vet services, specialized care including its Malvern CyberKnife Cancer Center, and 24/7 emergency care.

📍 Multiple locations in the greater Philadelphia area, 🌐 bluepearlvet.com

Philadelphia Animal Specialty and Emergency (PASE)

Animals treated: Dogs, cats, and exotics.

Located at 19th and Washington, PASE provides 24/7 emergency services and specialty care, such as cardiology and complex surgery, to dogs, cats, and exotics. The hospital currently shares space with the Washington Avenue Animal Hospital, but has plans to move next door to 1924 Washington Ave. soon.

📍 1920 Washington Ave., 📞 267-727-3738, 🌐 pase.vet

Mount Laurel Animal Hospital

Animals treated: Dogs, cats, exotics, and farm animals.

This hospital’s website boasts the same range of services as many human hospitals, including primary and specialty care, 24/7 emergency services, CT and MRI scans, a blood bank, house calls, and end-of-life care. Serving South Jersey, Mount Laurel Animal Hospital has served dogs, cats, exotics, and farm animals on its 16-acre campus, which houses a large working farm.

📍 220 Mount Laurel Rd., 📞 856-234-7626, 🌐 mlahvet.com

ANIMAL WELFARE ORGANIZATIONS AND LOW-COST CLINICS

Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)

Animals treated: Dogs and cats.

If you’ve adopted an animal in Philadelphia, it was probably from PAWS: The organization is the city’s largest rescue partner, with over 35,000 animals saved to date on its website. In addition to adoption services, PAWS offers low-cost spay and neuter services, wellness visits, treatment for common conditions like worms or fleas, and vaccinations. They also provide free spay and neuter services for feral cats through trap, neuter, release (TNR) programs.

📍 Low-cost clinic: 1810 Grant Ave.; spay/neuter and wellness clinic: 2900 Grays Ferry Ave., 📞 Low-cost clinic: 215-545-9600; Grays Ferry: 215-298-9680, 🌐 phillypaws.org/clinic-services

Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PSPCA)

Animals treated: Dogs and cats.

In addition to adoption services and its vet clinic, the PSPCA offers free vaccination clinics at its Erie Avene headquarters weekly on Wednesdays and Saturdays, as well as at its Lancaster and Danville locations. “This provides the opportunity to get core vaccinations for your animals without an appointment time and without paying an appointment fee,” says Kocher. “Many of our veterinarians are trained at Penn Vet, and we take pride in providing this critical service to the community.” Vaccine appointments are first-come, first-serve in Philadelphia and by-appointment in the suburbs.

📍 Multiple locations in the greater Philadelphia area, 🌐 pspca.org

Morris Animal Refuge

Animals treated: Dogs and cats.

Founded in 1874, Morris Animal Refuge is synonymous with Philadelphia’s animal welfare scene. Though the bulk of its services is limited to adoption, the Philly Pets Program aims to assist pet owners in underserved areas through pop-up vaccine clinics and pet food pantries.

📍 1242 Lombard St., 📞 215-735-9570, 🌐 morrisanimalrefuge.org

Providence Animal Center

Animals treated: Dogs and cats.

Located in Media, Providence provides mission-driven adoption, rescue, and medical care, as well as the training of service animals. Their low-cost clinic is the most comprehensive in the area, offering surgery and ophthalmology, as well as wellness care and vaccinations. Their 26-foot mobile surgery unit allows trained veterinary surgeons to provide procedures throughout the Philadelphia area, including at Philly’s Animal Care and Control Team (ACCT) on Mondays.

📍 555 Sandy Bank Rd., 📞 Media, 610-566-1370 for vet services by call or text, 🌐 providenceac.org/vet-services

How we choose our best lists
What makes something the best? Our recommendations are based on our reporters’ deep regional knowledge and advice from local experts. We also strive to represent the geographic and cultural diversity of the city and region. Spot an error or omission? Email us at [email protected]

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