Dear PoPville – Can Anyone Recommend a Veterinarian?

by Prince Of Petworth December 5, 2012 at 2:30 pm 112 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC

Dear PoPville,

I recently got a cat and need to establish a veterinarian for her. I’m new to having a pet, so I don’t have an existing vet. She’s a young cat (2-3 years old) with no special medical conditions.

On Yelp, I’ve seen good reviews of Friendship Hospital for Animals (in Tenleytown), but my understanding is that it’s pretty expensive, so I’m figuring I’ll reserve it for emergencies only. I’ve also read good things about SouthPaws in Fairfax, VA and (if I remember correctly) mixed reviews of CityPaws in D.C.

I have a car, which gives me some flexibility as to where I can go. My understanding was that veterinarians further out of the District tend to be less expensive, but I don’t know how far one has to go to see a price difference.

PoPville folks, what have your experiences been like with vets in the District and the suburbs? Any particular recommendations?

Ed. Note: Here are some old recommendations from 2010 but if anyone has new recommendations please leave them below.

  • Anonymous

    Atlas Vets on H Street NE

    • Anonymous


    • Anonymous

      We’ve been using Atlas Vet since we moved to DC. They’re fantastic! Prior to that we lived in Annandale and went to Columbia Pike Animal Hospital. The base price for an appointment is $20 less than Atlas, which can be significant if you have multiple pets (the other services seem to be priced more or less the same). But it can be a schlep to get out there, and the service is hit-or-miss. Even if you have an appointment in advance they make you wait a long time, so even a simple checkup becomes a multi-hour ordeal. They have seven or eight teenager girls working the front desk at any given time, yet they still manage to screw things up. Some of the vets are wonderful, but our favorite is no longer there and our second-favorite must be nearing retirement by now. I think Atlas Vet is wonderful for the convenience and level of service, but Columbia Pike is ok if you need to keep expenses down.

      • Anonymous

        By the way, while you’re nearby you can drive a couple miles south to the Humane Society’s Spay & Neuter clinic (10th and L Street SE) for basic vaccinations that are much cheaper than what the vets charge. Just make sure you give the paperwork to the vet so they can put it in their system.

      • Anonymous

        I just adopted a dog and chose Atlas Vet since it was so close to me. The staff is incredibly nice and they take the time to follow up on your pet. Making appointments is very easy too and can be done online, after your first appointment, via their web portal. I’d highly recommend.

        • JFaye

          I’ve heard the same thing about Atlas. Nothing but GOOD things….

    • eb

      I recently brought my cat to Atlas for the first time, and liked the experience. She just needed a check up, so I can’t speak to their emergency or chronic condition care.

    • lexic

      I actually switched from Friendship to Atlas Vet – the staff there is great. They spend a lot more time with my dog/answering my questions than any other place I’ve been and there prices are reasonable. Friendship is a good resource for emergencies since they are the only clinic in the city that is open 24hrs.

    • Anonymous

      Another recommendation for Atlas – they are awesome. Also, they don’t try to sell you on unnecessary vaccines and flea treatments (I have an indoor-only cat, only animal in my house, and some vets will always try to sell more stuff than he requires).

    • Anonymous

      yep, Atlas Vet.

    • Anonymous

      Cannot say enough good things about Atlas – the staff is wonderful, the environment is great (living room-type exam rooms keep the cats calm), and they always call a couple days after the appointment to check in and follow up. I will never go anywhere else.

    • Anonymous

      Atlas is an especially good place to take dogs that hate going to the vet. The Dr. plys them with treats so by the end of the visit they’re the best friends.

  • utterlyanon

    I use Alpine Vet in Cabin John. It’s a drive, but worth it to me. My dog is a rescue from a group they work with, so I also get a discount there. I like Dr. Sartain there personally. She is great.

  • Colhi

    I used Dupont Vet for my cats for a long time but after my cat recently passed away, I am thinking of switching (not because they hurt him, it just didn’t make sense to change when I had a cat with an ongoing medical problem.) They are very nice but seriously expensive and VERY agressive. I think it’s more a function of the clientele but they will recommend really expensive procedures and things like a visit to a cardiologist (for a 6 month old cat) that seemed to me to be a bit of an overreaction. They are very used to folks that treat the pets like children and have a LOT of money. Also, parking by their office SUCKS.

    • That’s odd, DuPont has never been “aggressive” with my dogs’ medical issues (they’ve been very few), but rather I’ve found them to be very practical and not quick to jump into pricely procedures. May just be me, as judging by the other patrons I’ve seen there, I’m probably not the typical client…

      I would recommend DuPont, and specifically Drs. Hollis and Saini. I don’t think they are any more expensive than Friendship or City Paws. They had a turnover problem for a bit, but it seems like they’ve finally found vets who are going to stay there (and good riddance to one of the vets who is no longer there).

      • Oh, and wasn’t attacking your observations, Colhi, just relaying my own. And yes, I’ve found that since I moved away from walking distance, parking does SUCK big time there!

      • We also use Dupont Vet and would recommend them. Our favorite doctors for our elderly dog are Dr. Hollis and Dr. Tan. We haven’t been, but I’ve also heard good things about Union.

        • MTP

          I’ve been going to Dupont Vet for 13 years–and I like them. Turnover is a problem, they seem to get very pleasant, dedicated, engaged, and I feel knowledgeable vets–who always seem to disappear within a year. Which really doesn’t matter all that much with a younger, healthier cat. But when you cat’s hitting 13 and you want some consistency–that’s when you switch to Dr. Hollis who has been there a long while and who is very, very good.

          • JenDC

            Another member of the Dr. Hollis fan club!

  • Anonymous

    My husband and I take our dog to Cherrydale Vet (Arlington, VA). Not too far over the VA/DC boarder. They are great.

    • Anonymous

      I had a vet at Cherrydale completely misdiagnose my cat, claiming a minor skin condition on her chin was the due to my 2 cats fighting. (It didn’t look like the results of a brawl to me, and frankly she’s the one who beats the crap out of my other cat.) Next visit to Friendship (which is no more expensive than any other vet in DC), Dr. Logan walked in the room and said right away, “She has a little feline acne on her chin. Pretty common, no big deal.”

      While I was at Cherrydale, the same doctor tried hard to upsell me, too, on expensive diagnostic treatments, which was another reason I won’t return.

    • Eliz

      I also like Cherrydale Vet (although I have a dog not a cat). I think the prices are about the same as anywhere else (so, expensive) and the vets are great. It is always easy to get an appointment and they have weekend and evening hours.

  • We went to CityPaws for our two kittens when we lived in DC, and we haven’t been impressed with any of the reviews in the Silver Spring/Takoma Park area, so we’ll continue to go to CityPaws. I highly, highly recommend Kristen Fischer.

    Even for emergencies, I’d be wary of Friendship. I had an emergency with my cat-gal and needed to put my cat down that night (extremely traumatic), and the staff was cold, dismissive, and tried to talk me into putting her down because they believed it would cost me too much money. Very upsetting experience, I’ve written them off ever since.

    • Anonymous

      Our experience with Friendship was that they saved our cat’s life when she had a very serious liver problem that destroyed her appetite and stop eating. It was pricey but she got roughly the quality of care I’d want for myself in her situation. They are able to perform very expensive interventions, so they would need to have tough conversations with people about whether these interventions are affordable. However, they also have a fund to pursue lifesaving treatment for animals with good prospects for survival whose owners can’t pay, and they do great work for animal rescue organizations who bring them animals that are in accidents, removed from abusive environments, etc.

      Of course I have no idea what happened in your situation and don’t presume to speak for you. However, our experience was exactly the opposite.

    • JFaye

      I’ve had a lot of experiences with Friendship and I have to say, ONLY GO FOR EMERGENCIES, and even in that case, think long and hard. They are VERY expensive and, depending on the vet you get, very quick to jump to conclusions. I brought my elderly cat in because he was acting lethargic (more than normal). My cat is CRF (chronic renal failure) but has been for quite some time and he’s stable, but something was off. The vet we got immediately said we need to say goodbye to our cat and this was it. I said this is NOT it, and wanted him to run tests. Turns out, my cat just had an infection that was back to “normal” in 2 days. Believe me, my cat is old and has CRF, but do your job and don’t just tell me to put him down. It has now been 8 months and my cat is still kicking….

    • Anonymous

      We really love CityPaws, and even though we moved to Arlington, we still bring them into the city because the quality of care is that good. They have showed us extreme kindness while dealing with our animal’s illness. Even emailing us updates on lab results while we were away on vacation. They have gone the extra mile for us when they really didn’t have to, it’s the best customer service we’ve ever had and can’t recommend them enough.

      We also use Fairfax animal hospital for his treatments, great staff, very responsive and helpful!

    • Identified

      When we were out in the SSpring area, we used Dr. Krishna at Silver Spring Animal Hospital. She was very nice – loved going to her.


  • Anonymous

    I’ve been very happy with Dupont Vet Clinic where i bring my dog and my cat. I visit with two drs there regularly (drs Hollis and Tan) and the front office staff is great… no hassles, and they always take me on time. Parking is supposedly an issue, but I always go before 4pm and have found free, close parking except once. (I’m about 19 for 20)

  • tory

    Caring Hands in South Arlington, just off Glebe Road, is wonderful.

    • Chris

      I would second Caring Hands as a great vet. The staff is always super friendly, and the doctors as well. That being said, our initial positive reaction to Caring Hands was reinforced in no small part due to Dr. Chris Miller, who is now at Atlas Vets.

  • Friendship Hospital for Animals is terrible. The rate of turnover of drs there is crazy, you will never see the same dr twice. They also routinely either refer you to a specialist after performing a couple hundred dollars worth of tests. Or they will send you home with a bottle of antibiotics and a “maybe this will work” — but again, only after performing a couple hundred dollars worth of diagnostics. Oh, and their prices are higher than any other that I am aware of.

    City Paws and Dupont are good. Some doctors are better than others at these practices, try out a couple if you don’t find someone you like.

    • kac427

      I’ve been taking my cats to Friendship for almost 5 years and haven’t noticed a huge turnover in the doctors. I don’t necessarily see the same doctor every time, but that’s because I go for the first available appointment rather than sticking with one doctor. Even so, I think I rotate between the same 3-4 vets – Drs. Boone, Marke, McMurphy, and Bolch, who have all been there for several years. Interns, front desk staff, and vet techs, on the other hand? Hardly ever see the same one twice (and I doubt that’s just because my cat frightened off a vet tech at his last appointment).

    • Anonymous

      It’s not turnover, its that they are a big operation that employs a ton of people. They also take interns from veterinary schools like an academic medical center. Read their website. After they saved our cat’s life I read up on the history and management of Friendship and am even more impressed by them. But, they are not your “family vet” in the old-school style, any more than the Emergency Room at Washington Hospital Center is anything like the old family doctor making house calls. Friendship is more like a modern integrated clinic/hospital than a vet’s office.

      • Admo Cat

        I agree completely. They did a great job with helping me through the last stages of my cats life.

  • ES

    I go to Kindness Animal Hospital in Wheaton. I really like them.

    I’ve also had Dr. Perl come do house visits for my skittish cat before I could get her in the carrier. He’s pretty awesome, too.

  • emuhawk

    If you don’t mind going to Arlington, Capital Cat Clinic is wonderful. It’s a cat-only clinic so everyone there is a cat specialist, and their veterinarians are good with both humans and pets (a combination I’ve found lacking at other DC vet offices).

  • Stephanie

    I use The Cat Hospital of Fairfax in Fairfax. Not far off 66 and reasonably priced. Personally I like a cat-only vet. The staff is great and very sweet.

  • houseintherear

    I recommend Union Vets, but only if you see Dr. Gross. Vet care in DC is expensive, unfortunately, and Union is right up there with the other places (without being MORE expensive, from my experience).

    • saf

      My cats also go to Union, but they usually see Dr Kats. We’ve been with her since she was at Dupont, and we love her.

      We also like Dr Gross.

      I don’t know the vets at Atlas, but I do know the clinic manager there, and if she works for them, they are good. If I were looking for a vet other than my current one, I would start there.

      • saf

        Oh, also, my older cats used to sometimes see Dan Teich at Dupont Vet. I hear he is at City Paws now. He’s great.

    • sbc

      I use At Home Animal Care for most things (Dr. Mahron is really great and since I don’t have a car and my cat hates traveling, it’s less stressful and about the same price as vet office + cab).

      But when my cat needed dental work I went to Union Vet and was very impressed. The techs seemed to really like animals (rarer than you’d think!) and they did a lot to make my pet and I feel comfortable. They were able to do her pre-op testing and surgery the same day so we didn’t have to go twice.

    • anonymous

      My two cats see Dr. Melissa Lehmann at Union Vet. I’ve been pleased with her and like the convenience of the clinic in general (I live on the Hill). Dr. Lehmann has been particularly good about treating my one cat who has been struggling with long-term stomach issues. She is not pushy about trying tons of diagnostic tests and procedures, but she lays out all the options. I’d love to recommend Southpaws, but they ultimately killed one of my cats during what was supposed to be a “routine” rhinoscopy. My original vet couldn’t believe what happened when she read the report.

    • louc

      I also took my cat to Union Vet and like both Dr. Gross and Dr. Kats. Dr. Kats was absolutely awesome when our cat was sick with lymphoma. She went way beyond the call of duty to help our poor girl and sent a sweet condolence note after she died.

  • Anon2

    I have been taking my cats to Capital Cat Clinic in Arlington for 10 years. I’ve had some issues with them, but they truly seem to care about the animals. It’s a cat only practice, so it’s a little less stressful since there aren’t barking dogs around. They are pretty expensive, but I’ve found that’s the case with almost every vet in the DC area.

    I can’t recommend Friendship. I have a friend who takes her pets there and one of the vets she saw was wonderful, but the office staff and some of the other vets were horrible.

    I’ve had to take my cats to South Paws for emergencies before and while it was incredibly expensive, they were very kind to both me and my cats.

  • Anonymous

    Atlas Vet on H Street is wonderful.

    • KP

      I second Atlas vet ( we have 2 cats). They are super friendly and less expensive than many others. Their rooms have carpet and furniture, a home like setting, and the vet sat on the floor to interact with our cats. They are pretty new- get in while you can!

  • I second emuhawk’s reply. Capital Cat Clinic in Arlington is fabulous. If you go, try to get Dr. Brown. Dr. Katz at Union Vet in Cap Hill is also wonderful with cats — go figure.

  • Anononymous

    I’ve had good luck with Union Vet on 2nd NE near Union Station for shots and routine checkups, and I use SouthPaws in Fairfax for emergencies. Both have been really good with my cats.

  • zach

    I’m a huge fan of my vet, Dr. Sweeney at Hillandale Animal Hospital. It’s a bit of a drive, just past the beltway on New Hampshire, but it’s totally worth it.

    He’s very thorough – his staff calls the same day a prescription is supposed to run out to see if the medication has worked and if another follow up is needed.

    He doesn’t oversell on procedures. My dog had a couple of minor seizures, and based upon my anxiety level I probably could have been talked into hundreds of dollars of tests. Instead, he calmed me down saying the experience is worse for me than for the dog, and that it wouldn’t be necessary to run any tests (that will possibly reveal no cause), unless it becomes a frequent thing.

    I just appreciate that straightforward attitude and not trying to upsell me in a city where it seems everyone is eager to make a quick buck. The only drawback is he doesn’t take credit cards and his personality is a bit dry. Worth the trade-off, though.

    • LMJordan

      I second that. Dr. Sweeney at Hillandale Animal Hospital is the best. I’ve been recommending him to friends for years.

  • Anony

    Friendship Hospital for Animals has been really good for my new puppy so far. No complaints. I’ve heard they are considered expensive but the prices don’t seem unreasonable to me.

  • kac427

    I use Friendship and have had good experiences with them, BUT one of my cats has multiple long-term health issues (I like to call him my special needs kitty) and an extremely cranky personality. Because of that, having access to their specialists, emergency facilities, etc. has been worth the extra expense for me. When I lived in Arlington, and before my little guy got so sick, I used Caring Hands on Glebe and really liked the doctors there. My favorite vet from Caring Hands, Dr. Chris Miller, has since moved on to open Atlas Vet; he was great with my cat so, although I have never been to Atlas Vet, I can highly recommend Dr. Miller!

  • Dave

    The father/son team down at Adams Morgan Animal Hospital are really nice.

    • caballero

      This is where I bring my dog. No complaints.

      • Alex

        I 3rd the recommendation for Adams Morgan Animal Hospital. We’ve taken our dog there for over 2 years and have received great service. They are just great all-around.

        • Anonymous

          I was taking my 19+ year old cat to the sr. vet at Adams Morgan pretty often in her last year. They were unsparing in ordering test after test and pressing for surgery, even though it was clear my little one was suffering mightily and could not have survived surgery. She had went through a very painful end at home on a Sunday while they were closed and I couldn’t reach them even to transfer her records to the hospital. I don’t think the care was bad, but it didn’t seem that her best interest was the main priority.

        • another anonymous

          My cat was a patient at Adams Morgan. After being diagnosed with hyperthyroidsm and then renal failure at 15, she made it almost to 22. And had a painless end as far as I could tell. I did make it my business to learn about how to care for those illnesses, but AMAH definitely deserves credit for their part in keeping her going for so long.

    • Anonymous Again

      Adams Morgan is another one that tried to upsell me.

    • sue

      I had a pretty negative experience at Adams Morgan – on my cat’s first check up they pushed really, really hard for me to immediately schedule a $900-1200 root canal for her broken canines. I took her back to WARL, where she came from, for a second opinion. They didn’t think it was necessary.

      When I took to friendship for an unrelated issue, they said the surgery likely would have broken her jaw and caused complications.

      It’s been almost a year and she’s fine.

  • chapin

    CityPaws is wonderful. My dog has seen every vet there, and all have been helpful and friendly.

    • Hoodrat

      Same here. Love all the docs. Without much basis for comparison, I would guess their rates are high but they’re conveniently located and well worth it to me.

  • My mom and all of our family friends take their pets to Annette the vet in Rockville: http://woodleygardensvetcare.com/. She gets rave reviews, and I’m not even considering going elsewhere. Only three reviews on Yelp, but they’re all fives: http://www.yelp.com/biz/woodley-gardens-veterinary-care-rockville

    • Anonymous

      That’s where my cat goes, as well. She’s great!

  • dcredhead

    I take my dog and my cat to Dupont Vet, and have always had a great experience. You do have to be a big saavy – i.e., a young health animal does not need blood work every year, but they will suggest it anyway. I just politely decline and have not had any issues.

    God forbid you do ever have a serious health problem, the specialists at South Paws are absolutely wonderful.

    • e

      Seconded on Southpaws. The doctors and staff are wonderful.

  • Tim

    I’d bet many people will disagree with me, but I use Banfield in Bethesda (inside the Petsmart) for my cat’s annual checkups and vaccinations. If he had something more serious, I might not trust them, but they’re cheap, and fine for this kind of stuff.

    • jcm

      We take our cats to Banfield, too, and I think they’re fine. Reasonably priced, and the vets are nice and seem knowledgeable. They are willing to call an antibiotic prescription into an internet pharmacy when my blind cat gets his occasional eye infections, rather than making me pay for an office visit or buy the antibiotics from them. That saves me a bunch of money.

  • Anonymous

    Is there really any reason to take healthy, strictly indoor cats for routine vet visits at all? I’ve had a couple of cats for over 15 years, and after their initial check-up, shots & spaying, they’ve never gone to the vet, and never needed to.

    • kac427

      You might want to have their teeth checked. My dad’s cat just had to have several teeth pulled after missing a few years of checkups, and he’s been like an entirely new cat – much more playful and energetic.

    • Anonymous

      Another reason to take a healthy younger cat to the vet regularly is to keep them acclimated to doing so. Otherwise they will find the experience extraordinarily traumatizing when they get older and have to go. I took five years off of taking my old cat to the vet, and when we finally needed to take her she was so freaked out by it that we had to take her home and never get her any more vet care other than house calls. So, take your cat just to get her used to going to the vet if for no other reason.

    • Anon5

      I agree with you. For many cats, the psychological trauma inflicted by a trip to the vet can outweigh any potential health benefits of the visit.

      Most astute owners can tell if/when their pet needs medical attention, anyway.

      Save the money from the ‘routine’ doctor visits and buy your cat some better food instead (i.e. non-grain-based).

  • Janie4

    I like A Cat Practice out in Silver Spring. They have Saturday hours, although like most vets they seem to close early on Wednesdays and Mondays. They are cat-only, which is nice, and the vets are both good and attentive. They don’t scare you with worst case scenarios (which is one of a complaint about Friendship). I’ve had a great doctor at Friendship and used them for emergencies, but I’ve also had them terrify me.

    If you have a cat who is injury prone, if appropriate, a cat practice offers Convenia – a two week antibiotic shot. It can be pricey, and there are always concerns with giving a medication that is going to be in their system for that long (adverse effects), but on the other hand, it means no syringe down their throat. I lucked out – the two cats who have needed it for injuries had no adverse side effects, and no more cats throwing up their antibiotic!

    • It’s been a few years since I took my cat there, but I was very happy with A Cat Practice in SS as well (you can basically drive up 16th St until right before it ends and then head over towards Kensington). I think the vet working with Dr Rogers has changed (he’s semi-retired and very knowledgeable) since I went there though. Now that I live in DC without a car, I just do a home vet. I recommend against the Takoma Park Animal Clinic – I had a bad experience there and so did a friend of mine. Congrats on your new kitty!!!

  • Anonymous

    I really like both Dr Drummond and Dr Vail at Dupont Vet. My dog has her regular work done there and we did have an emergency over the summer when she was really sick. They’ve been great on all occasions and can always fit us in pretty easily.

  • I’ve been going to Dupont Vet forever – first for my cat and now for my puppy. I’ve found them super friendly, easy to deal with and pretty reasonable in prices (granted, I don’t have a lot to compare it to). I even schlep the dog across town now that I’ve moved because I love the staff. I’ve only had issues with parking once or twice.

    As for emergency issues, I will never go to Friendship again – same issues as others – constantly rotating cast of drs in training which led to multiple emergencies for my cat (who eventually had to be put down – it was a highly traumatic experience).

  • I like Capital Cat Clinic in Arlington

  • jl

    I would definitely recommend Cherrydale Veterinary Clinic in Arlington. My wife and I take our dog there and they have really friendly staff and vets. Super nice people and they always try to save you money if possible. When you do have emergencies (like we have) they definitely will do everything possible that they can and when they reach their limit they will send you on to more extreme places like the Hope Center for 24/7 hospital care. Not too far past clarendon on route 29.

  • Anonymous

    Dr. Hamilton at CityPaws is wonderful — very responsive and friendly and I feel like she often goes out of her way to reduce the number of times I need to actually bring my cat in to the vet.

  • Pcat

    I have been going to the Adams Morgan Animal Hospital for nearly 20 years and have always been happy with them. I took my cat there just yesterday. I recommend them.

  • Lynn Animal Hospital in Hyattsville. Rt. 1 and E-W Hwy.

  • L

    If you have a car, Capital Cat Clinic in Arlington is awesome. The staff is amazing and the vets are experienced and knowledgeable.

    I used them while living in Arlington for 5 years, and when I moved to DC several years ago I switched to CityPaws. But CityPaws kept referring me to have expensive work done at South Paws Emergency Vet, which would cost me an arm and a leg. (on top of the initial consultation fees at City Paws)

    On the other hand, once you have been to Capital Cat, they will accept photos and emails to diagnose simple things and give you a ballpark estimate or let you know it’s not something to worry about. And they have enough experienced vets that you don’t have to go to a specialist unless it’s something really specific or extreme.

    • LeDroit

      Love, love, love Capital Cat Clinic. We went to Friendship for years, but have found CCC to be cheaper, more helpful, and more thorough. They will also totally level with you about when procedures are helpful and when they aren’t worth it (useful with an elderly, hyperthyroidic cat). Here’s their website: http://www.capitalcat.com/ (I also recommend their funny Facebook page – rivals PoP’s animal fix)

  • Mike

    We go to Arlington Animal Hospital on Columbia Pike and highly recommend it. It’s a husband and wife team of vets (though not always) and they’re very good with us and our cats and dog. We like that they take time to talk with us, always seem to recommend the easiest, cheapest solution before expensive tests and medicine, and take appointments very quickly. They have squeezed us in at the last minute several times, saving us hundreds of dollars in emergency vet bills. As in, we called 5 minutes before they closed, and they saw us an hour after their posted hours…

  • ke

    We’ve used Bradley Hills Animal Hospital for many years. It’s a small practice headed by Dr. Weiss, who is a compassionate caregiver and a sweet man. Our dog was injured around Thanksgiving a few years ago and he and his staff were really accommodating and helpful. It’s a bit of a haul up Bradley Blvd., but we still find it worth the drive. They do have Saturday hours, and you can drop off/pickup for a vet tech appointment or routine care, which is cheaper and convenient. Not sure what the going rate is for vets in other places, but we don’t mind the prices.

    I’ve also heard that Friendship is expensive, and we have friends who were treated badly there when they were concerned about being able to pay for expensive surgery for their dog.

  • Anonymous

    I cannot recommend Dr. Hambright and his staff at the Nebel Street Animal Hospital enough. They’re reasonably priced and have fairly late weekday hours and Saturday hours. They’re also right next door to the Montgomery Emergency Animal Center (MEAC), which is open 24/7/365. A little more expensive, obviously, but great for the fact that animals always seem to need them when the vet isn’t open.

    I’ve recently moved into the city, so getting out to Rockville with a cat that can’t go more than 20 minutes in a car without her bowels turning to liquid is no longer an option. Instead, I’ll be using Rock Creek Home Veterinary Care. They get excellent reviews and can provide most care for all animals at home. They have a small house call fee (which they’re willing to split between neighbors if you live in a building where they’ll visit multiple units), but its worth not having to force a cat into a carrier or having her crap all over herself on the way.

  • Anonymous

    I go to City Paws, which I can walk to, and Friendship for emergencies. Friendship is wonderful for emergencies (once my dog had an allergic reaction to a vaccine and another time a severe allergic reaction in his face/mouth/nose for unknown reasons), because I found them to be caring, thorough, and informative. I also liked that when I first got my dog and I would panic about minor things, they would walk me through his symptoms and not immediately tell me I had to bring the dog in. It was reassuring and saved me time and money.

    I also love City Paws. My dog is a huge wimp at the vet and cowers in a corner the whole time, so they encouraged me to stop by just for a treat whenever I’m nearby, and they are so sweet and patient with him. I also have never felt like they run unnecessary tests and are very good at listening to and answering all of my questions.

    Anyway, I think they are both great, though I should add that my dog is generally pretty healthy and so far (knock on wood) has not had to go very often.

  • AmyK

    I love Dr Boone and his son at Adams Morgan Vet Hospital and their vet techs are super sweet and attentive too. Highly recommended

  • When I still lived in DC, I took my rabbit to Paws, Purrs, and Exotics in Alexandria. I have a different experience than most, since many vets aren’t trained in rabbit care (since it’s considered an “exotic” pet), so I can’t say anything about their cat care, but Dr. Vyfhuis was wonderful. Always really great about communicating with me, especially over email.

  • Anonymous

    LOVE Dr. Hamilton at City Paws for my cats. The front desk staff and the vet techs are awesome too, nice and friendly. Dr. Hamilton was great and caring when my cat was quite sick, did a great job on my cat’s surgery and follow up, and is just a really warm person. It is a little expensive, but I don’t think the prices are out of line for the location (big city, not small rural vet), and it’s really close to my house, so less time in the car for my cats.

  • We use College Park Animal Hospital. We have a young asthmatic cat and an older pukey/constipated cat, and they’ve been excellent with both. When we were first looking for a vet in DC, we emailed both Friendship Heights and CPAH for some quotes for chest x-rays and CPAH’s response was both quicker and more courteous. The cats have seen Dr. McMichael and Dr. Berndt, and both were lovely. I’m guessing you’ll be getting some shots since it’s a new cat–they don’t charge for an office visit when the animal is getting a vaccine, even if they’re also getting a checkup.


    • (the quote was actually quicker, more courteous, and _half the price_)

  • Anonymous

    Hard for me to recommend Union Vet. My wife and I took our cat there for many years and had fine check-ups. Then this past summer they recommended a teeth cleaning for some minor plaque our completely healthy 8-year-old cat had. I dropped her off in the morning and the next thing I knew they were calling me saying she had a heart attack when giving her pain medication and would probably not make it. When I got there, they brought me to a room and then brought in her dead body without asking if I’d like to see her. One of the most traumatic experiences of our life….

    Looking back, I feel they pushed this procedure on us and did not go over any of the risks at all. They also handled her death in the most inept way possible. The front desk receptionist was actually rude to my wife when she came in crying and upset. The next day when I called to talk to the vet, I told them my name and the receptionist said they had no record of any animal that belonged to me. I guess they deleted her record as soon as she died. I would look elsewhere for cat care.

    • anonymous

      Sorry to hear about your unfortunate story- it sounds really awful. This is good to know since I take my own cats to that clinic. However, I had another friend who ultimately had to have her dog put down after weeks of her going down hill. She said Union treated her really well and went the extra mile. I guess you never know.

  • RussB

    Highly, highly recommend Dr Morgan at Georgetown Veterinary Hospital. Don’t let the Gtown moniker scare you off. He is VERY reasonable. He and his wife run the office. He actuallu saved our dog’s life twice…. I’m personally not a fan of Friendship unless its an emergency. Super expensive. Check out Dr Morgan. You won’t be disappointed.

    • sv

      I second the recommendation of Dr. Morgan; I have been taking my pets to him for several years after bad experiences at Friendship Animal Hospital and so-so experiences at Collins (in Glover Park) and Alexandria Animal Hospital.

      He is reasonably priced (for DC), up front about costs if they are going to add up, and doesn’t recommend unnecessary treatment. My pets are now older so unfortunately every visit involves blood tests and have been adding up, but when they were younger I often got out of there for less than $100.

      I usually make a morning appointment and I’ve never had a problem finding parking nearby.

  • We use Takoma Park Animal Clinic for our 3 pups. I am in love with Dr. Hines. Every vet we had there has been fantastic, but Dr. Hines seemed to go out of her way to make sure our pup was okay when we brought him in for an emergency. Our pup injured his neck and the office squeezed me in. Despite being squeezed in Dr. Hines took her time to examine my pup and make sure that I understood everything that I needed to know about a pup with a neck injury. She also followed up on the visit with phone chats to ask about Joker’s progress to make sure that he was on the right track. It seemed like she cared as much about about my pup as I did……. on a side note, a dog with a neck injury requires minimal activity, which means that he gets carried up and down stairs outside and inside. He is 65 lbs. I swear, if this ever happened to my dog that is over 100lbs, we are going to move into the basement where we don’t have to deal with stairs.

  • SingLikeSassy

    My pound puppy has been to Takoma Park and Friendship Heights and had great experience at both.

  • sharon

    Since it hasn’t been mentioned yet. I’m loyal to Capitol Hill Veterinary Clinic. They were wonderful in the last month’s of my cat’s life. Taught me to provide some in-home care (including providing fluids twice daily) and when it was time, opened up their schedule and handled the situation (and me) with alot of sensitivity.

  • Nikki

    I love Anacostia Animal Hospital. Reasonable prices, and Dr. Ashley is caring, compassionate, and very involved in local animal protection efforts. Best part is that they have walk-in times every day, so if you just need to get shots or something you can show up as needed. In case of emergency, SouthPaws is golden and their specialists are top notch.

    • jeff

      I go to anacostia animal hospital. Walk in – no wait also #1 rated in washington checkbook.

  • When I lived at Dupont, one cat went to Dupont and the other to Friendship. I like to maintain a relationship with Friendship in case I have a need for their emergency services. And while they are a bit more pricy, consider. They donate funding for the Washington Animal Rescue League’s humane education. They provide pro bono care to Washington Humane. Recently I moved to 14th and W and took my 15 yo diabetic cat to City Paws. Dr. Hamilton was great. BTW Union vet is an offshoot of Dupont and I have heard good things about them as well.

  • KLK

    I highly recommend getting pet insurance through Banfield (located in Petsmart). I have a policy for both my cat and dog and I think they are great. No out of pocket costs for routine visits and vaccines and very affordable monthly cost– for both (and the dog is more expensive) is $50.

  • kathyq

    Another one for Atlas Vet! They are friendly people who really care about your pets, and they are a great addition to the small business community on H St NE. Love them!

  • Mary

    Atlas Vet on H Street NE are excellent – great care, great staff, always have found parking right out front.

  • LH

    Love Atlas Vet. They were so great with my kitten and really sympathetic when I told them all the concerns I had after having lost my last cat in a sudden way. They also are good at “work-in” appointments if you need a same-day visit.

    I used to go to CityPaws but they were not good with the same kitten, either during an exam or when I called after a health issue and asked to talk to a vet. The vet refused to call back and they refused to let me bring him by for a quick look at what happened even though they were open for another three hours that day. I think they’ve gotten too busy to care anymore.

  • Anonymous

    I am very happy with Friendship Heights Hospital. I don’t understand a lot of the reviews about rotating doctors. When I make an appointment, I make it with the same vet every time, much as you would with a doctor’s office. If you don’t ask for a specific vet, sure you are going to get the first available, which will probably be a different vet every time, because they are a large clinic/ hospital that is staffed 24/7.

    I can’t say enough about how helpful and nice the staff is. I have a cat that has a tendency to eat things he shouldn’t. I have called them on holidays (Christmas morning), late night, weekends, etc, and they are always available with helpful medical advice. They let me know when I need to worry or bring him in, and when I don’t.

    The cat also has a rare health condition, and the vet did her research first before recommending treatment, and wanted to limit medications to only what was medically necessary. They definitely did not try to upsell me or do expensive tests. They may be more expensive (I don’t know about that), but they are worth the quality of care and medical facilities.

    That being said, I personally know the vets at Atlas, and I can tell you they are wonderful, caring people who will take great care of your pet. (They are just a little far for me to travel, and I already had a vet when they opened.)

  • Paul

    I also wholeheartedly recommend Dan Teich, or anyone else at City Paws on 14th NW.

  • Lauren

    Dr. Scalco at the Banfield in Bethesda is amazing!! I have a 7 year old cat that is on the wellness plan at Banfield which costs around $20 a month but includes all shots, check-ups, discounts for medicine if needed and an annual teeth cleaning. I recently got a puppy who has been seeing Dr. Scalco for the past few months and they love each other. Its rare to find an animal who is beyond excited to see her vet! She doesn’t even notice the shots.

  • Anonymous

    We’ve gone to Friendship Hospital for an emergency- great care, outraegeous, outraegeous prices.

    Dr. Tanouye from Rock Creek Home Vet is amazing!!!! She is the best vet I’ve ever seen- truly compassionate, sweet, and patient. She is a home vet only, so she might be slightly more expensive, but it is well, WELL worth it. Plus, with a cat, it’ll be less stressful then having to drive.

  • MHFoodie

    I’ve had multiple cats and a dog and have really loved City Paws. Dr. Hamilton and Dr Fischer are amazing with my dog. In his last emergency I had to take him to Friendship. He received great care over the course of his stay and they let me call and check on him as often as I wanted to. When I lived in Arlington I took my cats to Capitol Cat Care and thought they were amazing. I have been very lucky to have caring, non-pushy, vets look after my family and I recommend all three.

  • Cat Lover

    I took my cat to Capital Cat Clinic in Arlington for years, and they are wonderful. I can speak from experience with both routine care and emergency care that they are excellent.When he neared the end of his life we took him to Southpaws where they did incredible work to keep him alive, and I am grateful to them. When I adopted again, Atlas Vet was recommended to me (I no longer live in Arlington), and I’ve only heard good things about them.

  • I have to give Banfield Animial hospital in Bethesda PetSmart a big shout-out. I have been happy with Dupont Vet Clinic for my dog, but I had three very recently rescued kittens that got pretty sick yesterday. Dupont closes at noon on Sat. and couldn’t see them until Sunday.

    Banfield is open all day Sat. and Sun. so I went there. (Haven’t had great experiences previously with Friendship) Everyone, from the desk clerk to the vet tech to the vet herself was extremely wonderful, polite, thorough and helpful. Dr. Fu took a lot of time both in examining the kittens and going over all the medications.

    And they charge significantly less.

    They do present their comprehensive care plan, but it isn’t a hard sell at all. (And if it were closer to $275-300 for the year instead of $400+ it might be a good deal.)


Subscribe to our mailing list