So you’re in Birmingham – whether you’re new here, back here, or have always been here – and you’ve picked a bank, a dentist, a family practitioner, an OB/GYN, a preschool, a hairstylist, a pediatrician, half a dozen good (or at least decent) take out places for when you don’t want to cook and your favorite park.
What about the furry members of the family?
Have you picked a veterinarian in Birmingham for your pets?
Choosing a Veterinarian in Birmingham
Any offices listed in this article are for informational purposes only and not intended as personal recommendations. Also, just because one office is listed under the heading of “boarding services offered” doesn’t mean it doesn’t also have other services listed. Each practice is only mentioned once in the article and this is not meant to be a comprehensive listing of all the services of each practice mentioned. Please “vet” your vet according to your own standards.
1. First and foremost, look at convenience.
Start by looking at the closest office to you and/or your work. No one wants to schlep a sick pet from your house in Inverness to a vet in Pelham.
Also, check the office’s hours of operation. If you have busy work/school schedules, you may want an office that is open more than the traditional 9-5. You don’t want to be paying for after hours care every time something happens.
Need non-traditional hours? Try Vestavia Animal Clinic.
1471 Montgomery Hwy, Vestavia Hills
Opens at 7:00am Mon-Sat. Closes at 8:00pm most weeknights. Sunday hours from 3:00pm – 6:00pm.
Worried about having to squeeze in an appointment for a sick pet? What if the vet is busy and you have to work? Ask the office if they have a drop-off policy. Can they keep your pet while you go to work and call you after the vet is able to examine?
Galleria Animal Clinic has just such a service!
2953 John Hawkins Pkwy, Hoover
Looking for other conveniences? Online appointment booking? Email/text notifications when your pet is due a check-up? A vet that can respond to your questions via email? If any of these are important to you in a vet, be sure to ask.
Grants Mill Animal Hospital offers online appointment booking.
5431 Beacon Drive, Irondale
2. Also, consider the type of pets you have.
Your average vet’s office is going to be able to handle cats and dogs. If you have birds, ferrets, reptiles, rabbits or something else considered exotic in the pet world, you need to make sure the office you choose can accommodate all your pets (unless you don’t mind different offices for different animals).
Unusual pets? Try Kelly Animal Hospital
992 Huffman Rd, Birmingham
Kelly Animal Hospital can treat your Gerbils, Guinea Pigs, Hamsters, Rabbits, Ferrets, Snakes, Iguanas and other reptiles.
Finding a vet that listed birds under their specialty was more difficult!
For birds, try Grayson Valley Pets
5632 Chalkville Road, Birmingham
If your feline abhors other animals or gets anxious away from home, a cat-only practice might be a good choice so you don’t encounter a large dog or squawking bird in the waiting room. Also, people that work at a cat-only clinic really love cats.
Cats only? Try Metro Cat Clinic.
2080 Valleydale Rd, Ste 2, Hoover
Metro is a cat-focused practice which is especially great if you have an aging cat that may need specialized care.
If you want to keep both your cats and your dogs at the same practice, consider looking for one that services both but is really in tune with the different needs of different species of animals.
Check out 280 Animal Medical Center
9689 Highway 55, Westover (right off Hwy 280 between Chelsea and Harpersville)
280 Animal Medical center sees cats and dogs, but they have a special exam room just for cats – no dog cooties allowed! Also in their cat only room: calming pheromones, a litter box, and other comforts to soothe stressed out kitties. (Of all the vet offices I’ve sat in in my lifetime with a cat, I have never seen one have a LITTER BOX! This is a genius idea!
3. Consider the clinic’s facilities.
It’s okay to check out a vet’s office before taking your pet! Drop in, talk to the front desk staff, bring your questions, and trust your instincts of your first impression.
Do they have separate entrances/exits and waiting areas for cats and dogs? This might be a game changer if you have an anxious cat or a hyper-pup.
Ask what types of treatments they can’t do. Last summer, my kitty needed a special test, and I had to trek across town to see a different vet. I don’t anticipate having to do that again, but if you have a pet that needs special care, make sure the clinic you choose has everything needed to treat your pet.
I was sent to Riverview Animal Clinic
4640 Hwy 280, Birmingham
Riverview Animal Clinic has a fully equipped laboratory including complete in house hematology and biochemical (blood) testing equipment, diagnostic ultrasonography, electrocardiography (EKG), a radiograph machine and endoscopy. (That’s a lot of stuff to diagnose your pet!)
It is important to know that not every clinic offers dental services for pets, so be sure to ask about that if your pet has dental needs.
Need pet dental care? Try Pinson Animal Hospital
5161 Pinson Valley Pkwy, Birmingham (Pinson)
They offer routine cleanings and fluoride treatments as well as advanced services like root canals, caps and braces.
Not every clinic offers grooming either (especially for cats!). If you like getting your pet groomed and want the convenience of having grooming and vet services at one location, make sure the office you choose has both.
Want to keep Fido’s fur pristine? Try Mercy Animal Hospital
604 Gayle Street, Gardendale
They offer professional grooming for dogs and cats, as well as medicated bath services to treat skin issues.
4. Consider your need for boarding services.
I’ve only had to board my cat once. I boarded her at our vet’s office because it gave me peace of mind because they knew her AND if any issues arose, her doctor was right there.
If you will need to board your pet often, you may want to consider an office that offers boarding services also.
Worried about boarding your cats? Try Holmes Feline Clinic
2409 Acton Rd, Birmingham
They have large private rooms for cats with multi-level cat towers and plenty of space for play.
5. Lastly, consider the cost.
Not all veterinarian clinics bill the same amount for the same services! And it can vary dramatically from practice to practice! I don’t want to skimp on getting my pet’s medical needs attended to, but I also want to be smart with my money.
Cahaba Valley Animal Clinic
2209 Cahaba Valley Drive, Birmingham (Inverness/Greystone)
Cahaba Valley Animal Clinic offers wellness plans that include all your pet’s yearly needs (exams, tests, vaccines, dental care) as well as extra consultations for other issues that arise. These plans can be paid for in monthly payments. This offers peace of mind that you can keep Fluffy updated on her vaccines or take Spot to the vet when something seems worrisome and not worry about an additional cost.
Additionally, some practices accept Care Credit (a health care credit card) to help with costly, unplanned expenses due to illness or injury. Be sure to ask about this service should you need it.
Main Street Animal Clinic is one (of many) that do accept Care Credit.
1921 Gadsden Hwy, Birmingham (Trussville)
We took in three healthy kittens (in a rather rash and unplanned decision), and they all needed to be fixed. I had to find an affordable option because this was costing me times three!
Alabama Spay/Neuter Clinic offers low cost surgeries
2721 Crestwood Blvd, Birmingham (Irondale)
Alabama Spay/Neuter is not a traditional veterinarian practice. They only do surgeries and administer rabies shots. So I know that should the kittens need medical care in the future, we’ll be going to our regular vet. But their prices for the surgery and shots can’t be beat (trust me, I called around!) And to make it even better, they accept the spay/neuter certificates from the Alabama Animal Adoption Society – saving me another $25 per kitten!
I hope this list helps you choose the perfect veterinarian in Birmingham for your pets!
Additionally, I’d like to offer huge thanks to the members of Magic City Kitties who helped me with the offerings/details of the clinics mentioned in the article.
What are the clinics you love, and why? Share in the comments!