How do I chose a veterinary clinic?

There are many health care decisions you will need to make over the life time of your pet but the most important is your choice of a veterinary clinic. Not only will your veterinarian be advising you on the care of your healthy pet but he or she will also be there to provide medical care should a health problem arise. What is the best way to find a clinic that meets your individual needs as a pet owner?

  • Recommendation of a friend or relative – Talk to people who have the same ideas about pet care and pet ownership that you do.
  • What veterinary clinic do they use?
  • Why do they chose to go there?
  • Do they feel confident that their veterinarian and their staff have you and your pet’s best interests at heart?
  • Call the clinics in your area to discuss your veterinary care needs with the receptionist or office manager.
  • Do they take the time to discuss more than veterinary costs with you?
  • Do they ask questions and have an interest in your needs?
  • What species do they care for?
  • Do their hours fit your schedule?
  • How many veterinarians do they have on staff?
  • Do they employ animal health technicians to assist with patient care?
  • Do they have in house diagnostics such as a laboratory, digital xray, ultrasound etc?
  • Do they offer any special services that might interest you such as obedience training, boarding, premium pet food?
  • How are after hours emergencies handled? Is there and emergency clinic or a veterinarian available if I have an emergency with my pet at night or on the weekend?
  • Do the veterinarians use and recommend the services of specialists if needed?
  • Do the veterinarians update their skills and knowledge on a regular basis in an effort to offer you up to date care for your pet?
  • What is the clinic’s philosophy on pain management post-surgery and for painful medical conditions?

How do I choose a boarding facility?

A little research goes a long way to find a happy and safe facility for your pet when you are away from home. Here are some tips to help you decide what is best for your pet.

  • Is your pet active or quiet?
    Some kennels have group play for dogs that might be suitable for and not for a shy dog. Group play also may not be suitable for dogs that are aggressive with other dogs. A facility that leash walks dog may be a better fit. Cats prefer quiet environments and may not do well in a busy kennel that they will have to share with barking dogs.
  • Are there special vaccines or preventives required for my pet to board?
    Some kennels will require that your pet is up to date with their annual vaccination and dogs may require additional vaccinations for Bordetella (a contagious respiratory disease). If dogs are going to interact together the kennel may require that your dog is on medication to prevent the spread of ectoparasites like fleas and mange.
  • Take a tour!
    Is the facility clean and safe? Will they be feeding their pet food or can you bring your own? What type of bedding is used and how often is new bedding provided?
  • Does your pet have specific medical needs like daily insulin or oral medication?
    Ask if the staff is trained to provide this.
  • What happens if there is an emergency with your pet when you are away?
    We always recommend that you leave a contact number with the kennel if possible and call your clinic before you leave to authorize consent for emergency services if needed while you are away. This helps to avoid any confusion about the options for your pet’s care should a problem arise.

Does North Bay Animal Hospital offer boarding services?

We do offer boarding for our clients’ pets, but our space is limited. Dogs stay in large kennels or indoor runs with blankets for bedding that are changed daily or as needed. Dogs are leash walked 3 times a day. Cats stay in kitty condo’s which are larger cat kennels with a raised sleeping area in our “cats only” kennels area. We provide an easily digested dry or canned food for both dogs and cats but are happy to provide your pet’s regular diet if you would like to bring it with you.
If your pet has specific health requirements like daily insulin injections or medication, our trained staff is available to perform these special tasks. Our boarders’ activities are monitored and charted daily so we can make sure they are eating and evacuating normally. If a problem should arise during your pet’s stay, we are able to promptly address it.

Should I purchase pet insurance?

Click here to view our Pet Insurance page.

What are the clinic’s payment policies?

Payment options include cash, debit, MasterCard and VISA. Our fee schedule is always based on a provincial average for veterinary services. We always encourage owners to request a quote for services if there are cost concerns. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide payment plans.

 Introducing our new APPLY NOW online credit application

Paybright is Now Affirm!  Although our name’s changing, our mission remains the same. We help you break up the cost into [biweekly/monthly] installments with no hidden fees, no surprises, and no sneaky fine print. Plus, checking your eligibility will never impact your credit score.  Click here to see if you qualify.

Do you have 24 hour care?

Our hospital is fully staffed with trained registered veterinary technicians throughout the day but at this time 24 care is not available. Should your pet require 24-hour monitoring, a referral to a 24-hour care clinic may be recommended.

What do I do if my pet has an emergency when the clinic is closed?

Emergencies often arise at night or on the weekend when the clinic is closed. When you call our hospital you will be directed to our emergency triage service Smart.Vet who can provide you with medical assessments and prescribe treatment over the phone or video chat – essentially a remote house call service anytime of the day or night.  After regular office hours our telephone voice-mail will direct you to the Smart.Vet service.

What species do you treat?

North Bay Animal Hospital primarily treats dogs and cats but we will provide medical and surgical care for ferrets, small rodent, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds and some reptiles. We do not treat livestock or horses.

Do you perform house calls?

We do not provide a house call services but there are veterinarians in our area that provide this service. Please see the yellow pages for listings.

What is the Farley Foundation?

Click here to view our Charitable Organization – Farley Foundation page.

What is Pet Trust?

Click here to view our Charitable Organization – Pet Trust page.

Do you accept new clients?

We are always happy to see new clients and their pets. Many of our new clients have been referred by friends and family members and may have a specific veterinarian that they would like to see. We will do our best to accommodate your requests.

What is the North Bay Animal Hospital cancellation policy?

In order to be respectful of the medical needs of all patients, please be courteous and call the hospital promptly if you are unable to make an appointment. We ask that you notify us a minimum of 1 business hour prior to your scheduled appointment to avoid a cancellation/missed appointment fee.