Female doctor with colleague examining dog in hospital. Veterinarians with domestic animal at clinic. They are in uniform.

Differences Between A Calgary Animal Hospital & A Vet Clinic

When you’re sick, you head right to your GP clinic. When you’re very ill, you go to your hospital. There is a distinct difference between the two. But in the veterinary world, a pet clinic and an animal hospital might overlap and provide the same services. In most cases, people can’t tell the difference. However, there are lines between the two. 


What To Expect In A Calgary Animal Hospital?

Here is how an animal hospital in Calgary is different from a vet clinic:

  • The facilities are larger, which means they can house more animals, and therefore help you when needed on the spot. 
  • They also offer a wider range of services – due to their size and the amount of animals they have to help in their hospital. These range of services can include anything from spay and neuter or surgical procedures. 
  • They also house a wide range of equipment, including radiology and pathology, which can provide them with complete in-house laboratory tests.
  • In most cases, animal hospitals will be able to house pets overnight as they have the boarding services, staff and equipment to do so. 
  • In some animal hospitals, they will have a pharmacy inside to provide you with all your pet’s medication needs. 
  • Furthermore, with an increase in staff needed to house pets, animal hospitals can provide 24/7 emergency services. So if anything comes up, your pet has the support it needs. 

calgary-vet-clinicWhat To Expect From A Calgary Vet Clinic:

In most cases, a Calgary vet offers similar services to an animal hospital in Calgary, but there are few slight differences: 

  • Their primary focus is to provide preventative veterinary medical care. They can assess the condition of your pet and help you stop any issues going forward. 
  • Can still perform minor surgery, depending on the situation of your pet. In most cases, they are limited to minor procedures. Anything significant and your pet will be recommended to go to an animal hospital instead. 
  • They can still conduct tests, such as taking blood and urine samples but will most likely send them to a laboratory for assessment. 
  • They would have limitations in regards to their pharmaceutical medications.

Regardless, it does not matter if you take your pet to an animal hospital or clinic when they are sick. If your pet is not feeling well, getting them treatment is vital. Your options might be limited depending on where you go, but getting them checked is the most important aspect of it all. 


Here at Barlow Trail Animal Hospital, we love your pets as much as you do. We are willing to do what it takes to make sure your cat, dog, fish, hamster, rabbit, or any other creatures you love, gets the best animal care. We are ready to help you anytime. Call us on 587-393-8387 or email us at [email protected]

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