Do you need help finding the right veterinarian for your pet in Minneapolis? With over 300 Vets, finding the perfect match in the Twin Cities can be overwhelming. Check out our curated list of the Best Vets in Minneapolis Metro Area to find out which practices are considered the best in the Twin Cities based on our GreatVet scoring system.
Whether you’re brand new to pet ownership or brand new to Minneapolis, finding a quality veterinarian for your furry friend is crucial. Just as you would take the time to find your own primary care physician, you should do the same for your pet. Researching local vets and vet practices before an emergency strikes will save you time and energy, giving you peace of mind down the road.
Of course, all pets have different needs and not all veterinarians are alike. With over 300 clinics in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, each with unique care values, hours of operation, specialized services, and emergency offerings, there are countless factors to consider in order to find the best vet for your pet. It can seem a daunting task when faced with so much information, especially if you’re new to the Twin Cities and still getting acclimated yourself. To help you find the perfect match, we’ve curated a list exclusively for GreatVet users: Top Vets in Minneapolis.
In the meantime, get started by researching the following preliminary questions.
Whether you’re new to the city or a long-time resident, you understand the importance of having a designated network of businesses in your neighborhood or near your work that take care of your regular needs. Finding a veterinarian to add to that network will make both you and your pet’s life much easier when it comes time to take that necessary trip.
The first thing you need to consider is how you will be traveling with your pet. If you don’t own a car and rely on public transportation, finding a vet within walking distance might seem like the easiest choice. However, you need to consider a possible emergency situation. Will you be able to transport your pet easily and quickly without a vehicle in that scenario? The Metro Transit serves the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area and allows pets on local bus routes as long as they’re secured in pet carriers. It’s also important to consider extreme weather changes– especially in Minneapolis! When your pet inevitably needs care in the middle of December amidst negative temperatures and heavy snow, will your commute to the clinic keep you both safely out of the cold for as long as possible?
A happy compromise is to find a vet’s office that is both along a simple public transportation route and also a short drive or rideshare away from your home. You can use GreatVet to get started! Just type in your area code and browse all nearby veterinary clinics, adjusting your search radius if necessary. For your convenience, we’ve highlighted two highly-rated veterinarian clinics located in the Minneapolis metro area below!
Oak Knoll Animal Hospital in St. Louis Park is a great choice for both residents in the suburbs and downtown neighborhoods of Minneapolis. Located at the intersection of Minnetonka Boulevard and Colorado Avenue, this clinic is just a 20-minute drive from downtown. If you’re taking the bus, you’ll arrive right on the corner with only a short walk through the parking lot to get to the door. There’s also a spacious parking lot - no need to fret about street parking! Plus, rideshares are generally inexpensive, even if you’re coming from the downtown area.
For city dwellers, Lyndale Animal Hospital located on Lyndale Avenue is a great veterinary clinic. Anyone living in Loring Park or any of the downtown neighborhoods can get to this clinic by car in just 5-15 minutes. Public transportation and rideshare options also make getting to Lyndale a breeze.
Next, you’ll need to consider the hours of operation and the option of emergency services for your pet.
Now that you have a handful of relatively convenient nearby clinics to choose from, consider your personal schedule. If you need to make an appointment for your pet, what days and times would you realistically be able to get to the vet’s office? Consider your weekly obligations, including your work schedule and commute time.
Many vet clinics operate for limited hours on Saturdays, which is an important factor to look for when choosing your desired location. However, even if the normal hours of operation blend seamlessly with your daily schedule, there is always the possibility of an emergency.
First, check with the clinics you’ve already found to see if they offer emergency and after-hour services at the same location. If not, inquire about which emergency hospitals they may be affiliated with. Chances are they’ll be able to recommend several options for you. If you’re looking for an emergency services option, we recommend the University of Minnesota’s Veterinary Medical Center.
For after hours emergency care for your pet, the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center is always available to meet your needs. Unlike other clinics that close between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. (and are often closed all weekend), University of Minnesota has more than 60 professional veterinary specialists at your disposal to diagnose and treat any of your pet’s ailments, 24/7. For specialized care, you can make an appointment online. If an emergency comes up, call them anytime.
Use GreatVet’s website to screen office hours for the clinics in your area. There is also an easy- to-use filter option that will quickly show you a list of offices that operate 24/7 and/or provide emergency and specialized care.
By taking an extra moment to plan for an emergency ahead of time, you’ll be able to stay calm and provide the best support you can for your pet in any unexpected scenario.
The next natural step is to make sure that the clinics you’re considering offer everything that your pet will need. Does your dog require more specialized care than the average dog because of a pre-existing health condition? Is your cat in its senior years? Does your new puppy have anxiety around other dogs or humans? Do you have unique pets, such as birds or reptiles?
Once you determine your pet’s basic needs and whether or not he or she needs specialized care, screen the locations you’ve chosen to make sure they can provide the necessary care.
The GreatVet filters can also help you easily screen for the services that match your pet’s specific needs. Remember, while your search may bring up general practices, many vets have their own areas of specialization.
For example, Dr. Eric Ruhland, Owner of St. Paul Pet Hospital, a general veterinary practice located in the Cathedral Hill area, has special interests in dentistry, dermatology, orthopedic disease, anesthesia, and senior patient care.
Speaking of veterinary specializations, Veterinary Ophthalmology Specialty Practice, Inc. is a great example of a specialty clinic in the Minneapolis area. While Oak Knoll Animal Hospital is available to provide general pet care services, this animal eye clinic specifically treats pets suffering with eye disease or those who need surgery.
Whatever the case may be, knowing your pet’s specific needs will help you find the most appropriate veterinary clinic. Using GreatVet, you can find out what services and equipment are offered on-site at each location in your area filter to find specialists in areas like cardiology, oncology, and more.
Now that you’ve narrowed your search, you may be tempted to review the practice's online reputation. Any and all consumers can quickly post an online review of a business’s services, care, hours, and anything else they feel may be important for their fellow community members to know. Be sure to consider the following factors when searching online:
While it can be tempting to make your final decision after one quick skim through Yelp reviews, take the extra time to look through at least 2-3 social media platforms. From Facebook and Google to other review forums, search around to gain a more comprehensive view of the services your desired pet clinic provides.
GreatVet profiles help you see scores from all review sources to make sure you have full visibility into each practice’s online reviews.
To get as much of a balanced perspective as you can, be sure to read both the 5-star and lowest rating reviews.
Don’t be scared away from a clinic based on just one negative review. Bad situations are sometimes unavoidable. Plus, everyone has different standards by which they rate a business; make sure you know your own values and priorities before getting swayed by someone else’s. Plus, make a note to see if, and how, the business responds to both negative and positive reviews. A business’ response can really clue you in on how they operate overall.
The total number of reviews for a pet hospital can be a good indicator of the quality of service they provide and their longevity within the community. For example, a location with hundreds of reviews has likely been practicing for quite some time. With longevity also comes more experienced staff, a wider network of affiliations for referrals in case you need them, and more experience to make customized choices for your pet’s care.
When considering veterinarian reviews, GreatVet’s Reputation Score can give you the comprehensive view you need to make an informed decision.
For you and your pet to truly get the most out of going to a veterinary clinic, you both need to be comfortable there. Going to the vet is often not a pleasant experience and can be incredibly anxiety-inducing for both pet and owner, especially if your pet is ill or injured. Feeling safe and comfortable at your clinic of choice will help make any uncomfortable situation that much better. You can use an initial trial visit to answer some key questions you may have about a vet.
Start by making a phone call to see if the vet is available for a consultation or preliminary visit. It can be extremely helpful to chat with the physician in-person, and to get a sense of their personal values and care philosophies to see if they line up with your own.
St. Paul Pet Hospital is one pet hospital in the Twin City area that differentiates themselves not necessarily on their unique technical abilities or equipment but rather on their ability to build trust with their clients and the St. Paul Community.
During an interview with Dr. Eric Ruhland, owner and veterinarian at St. Paul Pet Hospital, he explained the importance of trust and shared value systems between a vet and the patient. “I think the biggest thing that anyone has to deal with has never been what’s the next best thing to do in medicine, but rather can you gain trust and build trust with the pet owner. Does the pet owner believe in the same thing that clinician believes in and share the same values. Then you can really begin to build a relationship with the person.”
It’s also a good idea to get a sense of the space at the clinic. If your dog or cat is highly anxious or gets aggressive around other animals, walking into a tiny waiting room on your first visit there may taint the entire experience. Being prepared for the conditions at the office will give you peace of mind and a heads up when planning how to comfort your pet while you wait.
In our interview with Dr. Ruhland, he touched on what to look for when feeling out the space. He explained, “Things should be open and transparent in a practice and I always encourage new owners to come in and look at our practice beforehand. There is also a video tour on our website where people can go in and click on it and it will walk them through and show them our practice. Transparency is key so that pet owners can feel comfortable and know they're being treated the right way… Our staff is always on board with that and we constantly have clients in the back of our facility so they can see what is going on.”
Upon your first phone calls, were the people you spoke with friendly and understanding of your questions? Did they do their best to make you feel comfortable? Can you envision forming a long-term relationship with the vet, technicians, and staff? Make sure you ask them any and all questions you have about how they work with their patients.
You’ll need to establish a long-term relationship with a vet clinic to provide the best care for your pet. Making sure that you’ll feel comfortable enough to do so well in advance will save both of you the stress of switching care providers in the future.
Dr. Ruhland places a heavy emphasis on building long-term relationships between the staff and his clients at St. Paul Pet Hospital and uses longer one-hour appointments with families to really get to know who they are. Ruhland explains, “All my clients have become my friends who I live in the community with. I know the differences between the families and what level of expectation is for each one. I think each one of my staff members really understand that.”
With all these factors to consider, it’s no wonder why pet owners find the process of choosing a veterinarian overwhelming and confusing, not to mention time-consuming. That’s where GreatVet Verified Profiles come in. Every GreatVet Verified Profile is vetted to ensure pet owners have the best data to make an educated decision when choosing a new veterinarian.
GreatVet Verified Profiles are considered a stamp of approval for any vet practice. It indicates to pet owners that the clinic in question has quality, accurate information, and is considered a top veterinarian in the city. GreatVet Verified Profiles are exclusively built to highlight the most important information and make that data practical, functional, and, most importantly, personalized to fit your every need.
The GreatVet Score also makes it easy to compare the differences for each veterinary option in your city. Using the GreatVet Score along with other filters described above on hours, services, and location, can save you time and energy when making a conscious decision.
Finding a veterinary practice in your neighborhood can be difficult enough. Finding one with hours that fit your schedule, the exact services your pet needs, and a great reputation to boot makes your search that much harder. Luckily, GreatVet is here to help you find the quality care provider your beloved companion deserves.