Which Hong Kong vet should you trust to take care of your beloved fur babies?
As the proud owner of two rescue cats, I know how difficult it is to firstly get said cats into their carriers and then transport them meowing all the way to the vets (if you find a taxi willing to take you there!). When we are taking our furry friends to the vet, and especially in the case of an emergency, the closer the better. So here is a district guide to some of the most reputed Hong Kong vets, as well as a quick look at your insurance options (we all know how expensive medical care is in Hong Kong and veterinary clinics are no different).
Read more: Where To Adopt Or Buy A Pet In Hong Kong
Hong Kong Island Vets
Wan Chai District
SPCA Wan Chai
The SPCA was founded in 1903 and is the longest-standing veterinary centre in Hong Kong. Its headquarters in Wan Chai provides first opinion care (general basic care in veterinary practice) along with specialist consultations, an in-house laboratory, digital radiology, ultrasonography, dentistry and endoscopy. It even has an underwater treadmill for post-surgical physiotherapy! 24-hour emergency care is available here. Revenue from the first opinion veterinary clinic helps support the extensive charity work that the SPCA does for abandoned, mistreated and neglected animals in Hong Kong. The Wan Chai centre serves as the hub for the welfare cases and rehoming of these animals. This centre also has dog behaviour and training consultations, pet grooming and boarding services.
Happy Pet Veterinary Centre
Recently relocated from Tai Hang, this friendly clinic is run by experienced veterinarian duo Dr Gillian Hung and Dr Morgan. They provide consultations, in house laboratory, digital radiology, ultrasonography, dentistry and have full surgical facilities. Both vets have a keen interest in ophthalmology and take referrals from all over Hong Kong from other veterinary clinics. This clinic also has a convenient drop-off and pick up access via Blue Pool Road.
Valley Veterinary Centre
Owned by longtime Hong Kong vet, Dr Lloyd Kenda, Valley Veterinary Centre was one of the first veterinary clinics in Hong Kong, set up over 40 years ago. It provides consultations, radiology, dentistry and has full surgical facilities. This vet clinic also has a convenient drop-off and pick up access via Blue Pool Road. House call services are available. Regular clinic timings are Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm; Saturday, 8am to 6pm; Sundays and public holidays, 10am to 1pm
Dr Hughs Veterinary Hospital
Dr Hugh Stanley and Dr Gillian Anderson run this modern veterinary clinic with full facilities to ensure excellent care for your pets. As well as cats and dogs, both vets have extensive experience with smaller furries such as rabbits, chinchillas and guinea pigs. Open Monday to Saturday, 9am to 7pm; Sunday, 10am to 5pm.
Creature Comforts and East Island Animal Hospital
Set up in 2003 by husband-wife team, David and Trilby Gething, this Hong Kong veterinary practice provides premium diagnostic, medical and surgical care. East Island Animal Hospital at Shau Kei Wan provides 24-hour emergency care, car parking is available and there is easy access by taxi. The hospital has diagnostic imaging, laboratory and the usual surgical facilities. Plus there’s a 24-hour emergency centre. It even has an isolation ward with its own ventilation system, that is used to house animals with infectious diseases.
If you live on the other side of the island, you could arrange for a house call through Creature Comforts, six days a week, for vaccinations, health checks and regular medical treatment. If your pet requires a surgical procedure, transport to take your fur baby to the hospital can be arranged.
Central & Western District
Acorn Veterinary Hospital
Opened in 2010 by well-known Hong Kong vets Dr Tony Matthews and Dr Andy Krywawych, Acorn caters for all small animals and offers high-quality veterinary care with excellent medical, diagnostic and surgical facilities. Opening hours are Monday to Saturday, 9am to 7pm (consulting hours 9.30am to 1pm, 3pm to 6:30pm); Sundays and public holidays, 10am to 5pm (consulting hours 10am to 1pm, 2pm to 4pm).
For our feline friends, this cat-only veterinary hospital (Aberdeen Street branch) was set up in 2003. Cats have an extremely acute sense of smell (fun fact – it’s 14 times that of humans!) and other animals in their vicinity, especially dogs, can really stress them out. The dedicated team here has extensive experience in feline medicine.
There is also a branch in Kennedy Town branch that caters to cats and dogs but has separate waiting areas for them (the Aberdeen Street branch continues to be proudly cat-only!). This offers a much more relaxing environment for cats, as they can’t see, hear or smell any dogs. The hospital is fully equipped to provide full medical, diagnostic and surgical care for your pet. The clinic also offers a medicating service where you can drop your pet off to be medicated by the nursing team until the condition resolves or until you are able to medicate it at home. Nine lives is open 7 days a week. Monday to Saturday, 10am to 7pm; Sunday, 12pm to 5pm.
9Lives Cat Hospital, G/F 37 Aberdeen Street, Central Hong Kong, 2505 2505
Stanley Veterinary Centre
This long-standing veterinary clinic is a fully equipped primary opinion practice and has provided excellent medical, diagnostic and surgical care for southside pets over many years. Owner Dr Mike Goodlet also accepts cardiology referrals from other veterinary practices. The clinic is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm; Saturday, 9am to 1pm, 2pm to 5pm; Sunday, 9pm to 12:30pm. House call services are also available.
Veterinary Centres In Kowloon
Previously situated in Mong Kok (and formerly known as CityU PAVC), this new clinic in Sham Shui Po is impressive. Spread over three floors with a total area of about 33,000 square feet, this hospital has 22 consultation rooms, nine operating theatres, a dedicated intensive care unit (ICU), a cardiology suite and a separate 24/7 access emergency service. It is one of the largest veterinary clinics in Southeast Asia! It has all the latest equipment and facilities for CT scanning, MRIs, digital radiography, ultrasound, endoscopy and intra-operative fluoroscopy. As well as offering first opinion veterinary care, there will be eight specialist veterinary services for referrals (including neurology, ophthalmology and internal medicine). Just like you would do for your kids, this hospital stores all the records for furry children as well, that it carefully transferred when it moved location earlier this year.
CityU Veterinary Medical Centre, G/F-2/F, Trinity Towers, 339 Lai Chi Kok Road, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 3650 3000, 3650 3200 (for emergency), 6101 1026 (for dispensing, WhatsApp only), [email protected], www.cityuvmc.com.hk
Pets Central Mong Kok Hospital
Pets Central is one of the well-known veterinary clinics that has branches all over the 852. Besides the medical services of hospitalisation, internal medicine, cardiology and more, it also has an online and clinic store, as well as general services like grooming and boarding. It has several well known and highly experienced vets including Dr Kurt Verkest and Dr David Coyle. Nursing care and the shops are open 24 hours, consultations 8am to 12pm only.
Kowloon Veterinary Hospital
The Kowloon Vet Hosptial offers a full range of services that not only cater to your dogs and cats, but also your exotic pets. In addition to traditional vaccination, spay and neuter and medical check-up services, it has a full animal hospital set up complete with a laboritory, in-house pharmacy and isolation wards. It’s not all about the essential services either with physiotherapy, acupuncture, hydrotherapy and animal wellness checks all on offer too.
Located just the other side of the Cross Harbour tunnel in Ho Man Tin, this clinic mirrors the facilities in the Wan Chai headquarters of the SPCA. It has 2 consulting rooms and offers general surgery, dentistry and imaging (x-rays and ultrasound). Apart from its medical services, it also has an adoption centre upstairs. There is limited parking but it’s an easy taxi pick-up and drop-off spot. The clinic is open Monday to Saturday; 8:50am to 5:30pm.
Read more: Pet-Friendly Hotels And Resorts In Hong Kong
Vet Clinics In The New Territories
Pets Central Sai Kung
This branch of Pets Central has a loyal clientele. It also offers retail and 24-hour dog and cat boarding services. Consultations are from 9am to 9pm.
SPCA Sai Kung
Dr Genevieve Touzel oversees the running of this centre which is open seven days a week and provides consultations, general surgery, in house laboratory, x-rays and hospitalisation facilities. There is also an adoption centre for welfare cases.
Creature Comforts Veterinary Clinic TKO
A branch of Creature Comforts, this clinic at Tseung Kwan O is also a fully equipped general hospital. As well as consultations, the clinic offers acupuncture, an in house laboratory, diagnostic imaging (x-rays and ultrasound) and general surgery. It’s open seven days a week and on most public holidays, from 10am to 8pm.
SPCA Hang Hau
Experienced vet, Dr Heidrun Kraft, has run this SPCA branch clinic for 15 years. As well as consultations, dentistry and general surgery, the clinic has in house laboratory facilities. It’s open six days a week, from 8:50am to 5:30pm.
Other options worth mentioning. Pets Central has multiple clinics across the New Territories, including Tseung Kwan O and mobile clinics in Park Island and Fairview Park. SPCA has well-equipped clinics in Mui Wo, Cheung Chau and Fairview Park.
To insure or not to insure?
Pet ownership in Hong Kong has undergone exponential growth over the last decade. However, of all the cats and dogs kept as pets, as little as 3% are covered by pet insurance. This is much lower than in other countries, as the lack of options and high premiums often deter owners.
The two companies that are most popular currently are FWD and Bluecross. Fintech group One-Degree also offers pet insurance services. Premiums range depending on three factors; type of coverage, age and breed.
If you are thinking about taking out pet insurance, earlier rather than later is always a good idea. Most companies don’t offer new policies for dogs over eight years old but will renew their existing ones. It is certainly prudent to take insurance for a healthy pet before any old age issues begin. Ongoing care for chronic diseases such as heart disease, kidney failure or Cushing’s disease can be a heavy financial burden. The basic plans only cover consultations whereas the most expensive even insure against funeral plans and travel cancellations. Pure breeds which are prone to congenital issues have higher premiums and fighting dogs are excluded altogether. Always check with the insurance provider and read the fine print!
Apart from insurance, remember that prevention is always better than cure. So, do remember to desex your pet, get those yearly vaccinations and don’t forget the regular de-flea, de-worm, heartworm pills and tick collars. These simple things could save your pet’s life and prevent you from heart (and wallet) burn.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published by Catherine Sen in May, 2019 and updated in August 2020