You’ve just got to care about your patients and the people that you service, and I do. I see second- and third-generation kids coming here now…It’s all about the pets and the whole relationship.
Dr. Michael Bellinghausen, Veterinarian & Owner of Kenmore Veterinary Hospital
There’s no question about it: people love their pets. And here in the U.S., we are willing to spend the money it takes to care for them. The global pet care market was estimated at almost $132 billion in 2016 and the U.S. accounted for almost exactly half of the international total—$66 billion. This was a significant 10 percent increase from the previous year.
Why is this market growing? It’s more than an increase in pet ownership. Owners are now investing more in their pets’ health by spending more on higher-quality pet food and taking their pets to the vet on a regular basis to keep their health on track, just as we do for our own health.
Today, veterinary science is better than ever, and in the spirit of celebrating top-notch veterinary care, here are five of the best veterinary clinics in the Pacific Northwest, including an interview with an award-winning veterinarian in the region.
Before we get into it, let’s lay down the criteria we looked at when selecting the best veterinary clinics. These specific characteristics include:
- Highly rated: Utilizing Google’s review forum, we looked at clinics’ average rating out of five stars, as well as the number of times the facility had been rated/reviewed. All of the clinics selected have over 20 Google reviews, ensuring the average star-rating is based on a substantial sample size of customer experiences.
- Most responsive: We combed through reviews to see if customers had positive experiences with clinics’ communication and selected those praised for being the most responsive.
- Friendly and helpful staff: Taking your pet to the vet can be a stressful experience, so a friendly, patient staff is a high priority for pet owners. The clinics we chose had glowing customer reviews in terms of the demeanor and knowledge of the staff.
- Facilities: The maintenance, upkeep, and innovativeness of the facility are factors we took into account. Animal hospitals should be not only clean and well-maintained for health reasons but the best ones boast state-of-the-art equipment. This is another sign that a clinic’s staff members take their jobs seriously.
If you’re a Pacific Northwesterner looking for a quality veterinary center for your pet, check out the list below to see the top clinics in the region.
Kenmore Veterinary Hospital (Kenmore, WA)
Rating: 4.8/5 – 80 Google reviews
Kenmore Veterinary Hospital, located north of Seattle, is one of the best veterinary clinics in the area. The long-time owner, Dr. Michael Bellinghausen, was the winner of the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association’s (WSVMA) Veterinarian of the Year Award in 2017. Dr. Bellinghausen chatted with us about his practice, and said right off the bat, he doesn’t worry about online reviews.
“You’ve just got to care about your patients and the people that you service, and I do. I see second- and third-generation kids coming here now,” he said. “We as a hospital all try to care about patients here. It’s all about the pets and the whole relationship.”
Dr. Bellinghausen has had a passion for veterinary medicine from a young age. He told us that when he was growing up, Oregon State University did not have a veterinary school: “As a young teenager, I went down and lobbied as a student trying to get into veterinary medicine and said, ‘We need a school here at OSU,’” and he was ultimately successful in his effort.
Kenmore Veterinary Hospital’s ratings speak for themselves. On Google, 80 reviewers rated the clinic an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars.
“The doctors and staff here are very kind and professional. Same-day appointments are often available, and the doctors’ manner with my cats has always been top-notch,” one reviewer wrote.
So, if you’re located in the Seattle area and you want to give your pet top-of-the-line care, consider giving Kenmore Animal Hospital a call.
Portland Animal Clinic (Portland, OR)
Rating: 4.8/5 – 124 Google reviews
There are a lot of highly-rated veterinary offices in Portland, but the Portland Animal Clinic has a 4.8 out of 5-star rating, a high number of reviews on Google (over 100), and multiple comments on the fair pricing.
“They are also well priced and never price gouge us for their services,” said one reviewer. “I’ve never felt pressured into any services or like I’ve paid too much,” another wrote.
The 1950s building may look dated from the outside, but it recently had an interior cosmetic make-over, which included the addition of new high-tech diagnostic equipment.
The clinic’s services run the gamut, covering everything from basic flea control for cats and dogs to prescription diets for pets. So if you’re in the market for comprehensive care for your pet in the Portland area, the Portland Animal Clinic is a great option.
Liberty Animal Hospital (Salem, OR)
Rating: 4.6/5 – 58 Google reviews
Liberty Animal Hospital in Oregon’s state capital, Salem, is one of a few solid veterinary clinics in town but it’s one of the highest and most often reviewed, with over 50 reviews and 4.6 out of 5 stars. It also stays open one to two hours later than some of the other clinics in town, so if time is scarce during the day, this clinic is likely to accommodate you and your pet in the evening.
“Tonight I called 10 min before they closed in hopes of getting our older dog in tomorrow, and they asked if I could bring him in tonight, which I did. It wasn’t terribly urgent, but I was happy to be so quickly accommodated. We would definitely recommend Salem Animal Clinic,” one reviewer wrote.
The clinic’s website also has a library of video tutorials to guide owners in administering medications to their pets, as well as a pet health database with a plethora of information about how to care for your animals. You can type in keywords using the search engine or filter topics by breed. You can utilize this resource whether you’re a patient of the clinic or just want to brush up on your veterinary health knowledge.
Washington State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital (Pullman, WA)
We’d be remiss not to include the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University which was established in 1899, making it one of the oldest in the United States and the only veterinary school in the state of Washington. The school is dedicated to headlining innovation in teaching veterinary and other medical sciences for the benefit of both animal and human health.
The veterinary hospital opened in 1996 and is a pillar of the community. The hospital specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and continuous management of animal health. It boasts sophisticated diagnostic and treatment technologies, including MRI, CT scan, ultrasound, endoscopy, arthroscopy and radiation therapy. Its staff includes fourth-year veterinary and postgraduate students, who work together with clinical faculty to treat patients.
South County Cats (Maple Valley, WA)
In addition to the number of top-of-the-notch veterinary hospitals, here is a rock star clinic in the nonprofit world. South County Cats in Maple Valley, WA was recognized at the beginning of 2019 by the American Veterinary Medical Association for its effort to reduce euthanasia rates of cats at local animal shelters. Since 2006, the organization has facilitated more than 14,700 cats’ spay/neutering services and offer vouchers for limited-income families.
Sally Halela, the founder and director of South County Cats, was singled out for extraordinary service and her mission to educate the community on the importance of having cats spayed and neutered.
The organization is active on Facebook, keeping its more than 2,000 followers up to date on their activity. Like their page to sign up for their feed and get your daily dose of cuteness-overload, although beware if you live in the Pullman-area—you may find yourself tempted to adopt one of the adorable kittens that has found a temporary home at the shelter.