Looking for a good vet in New Zealand? Great news – you won’t have any trouble finding one who speaks English! New Zealand is a very pet-friendly country, and they take pet care seriously. That’s more good news, but if you’re in the process of relocating your family and pet to New Zealand, how can you find the right vet for your dear Mittens?
That’s something you’ll want to nail down as quickly as you can, for your peace of mind. A big move brings big changes, and you want to have a vet’s name and number handy in case Mittens gets sick or injured, whether you’re still unpacking or you’ve headed off on your first hike.
You can go right to the source – professional organizations -- to find lists of vets who practice wherever you’ll be living in New Zealand.
The Veterinary Council of New Zealand is the official licensing entity in the country – the one that sets practice standards and makes sure vets meet those standards. They provide a veterinarian locator you can search by name, but if you’re new to New Zealand you’ll probably want to search by region instead. That way you can zero in on a vet/clinic that’s conveniently close by.
The New Zealand Veterinary Association is the country’s professional association. They provide continuing education for vets, have an established Code of Professional Conduct for members, and – for clinics and hospitals that meet the highest standards – bestow BESTPRACTICE® accreditation. You can find a searchable database of NZVA members here, and search by name, region, or type of veterinary practice.
We did. And we found a few vets around the country you might want to check out:
This clinic is located in the Mt. Eden neighborhood of Auckland. They’ve been around for 30 years, offering, and “relatable animal health care from professionals who adore animals! We’d love to meet your family pet!” They are equipped with the latest equipment and facilities and provide a full range of services from wellness consults to dentistry and surgery.
If Mittens is a cat, she’ll purr with delight to find out the clinic also includes Catmandu Cattery for boarding – just the ticket if you have to travel and leave Mittens behind for a few days.
Also located in Auckland, St. Lukes Veterinary Clinic is one of just two NZVA BESTPRACTICE® clinics located in the central part of the city. Their goal is “to provide the general public with the highest quality veterinary care for their pets.” They have three vets on staff who work as a team when necessary to ensure pets with difficult health problems get the best possible care. The clinic includes an in-house lab, so they can run tests and get results in a half-hour.
Mittens scores here, too (again, assuming she is a kitty), because St. Lukes also has a cattery for boarding. And, cat or dog, Mittens can take advantage of their grooming salon.
This clinic in Palmerston North is operated by Massey University, the University of New Zealand’s Veterinary School. It is a teaching hospital, so it’s staffed by final-year veterinary students as well as highly qualified, experienced veterinarians. They do everything here, and they are open 24 hours a day. You can use them as your pet’s primary care provider, but vets all around the country also refer cases to them.
If you’re hoping to find a holistic vet that uses an integrated Western-Eastern approach to treating pets, you’re in luck if you live in or near Tauranga. Holistic Vets clinic offers all the traditional services you would expect, plus complementary therapies that include nutrition, acupuncture, chiropractics, homeopathy, Chinese herbal medicine, and even the use of essential oils and flower essences.
Do you know anyone in New Zealand – perhaps co-workers who have also transferred there for your company? If they have pets, they can at least tell you what they think of the vet they chose. If you don’t have someone in place you can consult, look for online expat forums. These groups know first-hand the challenges you face moving to another country, and they can save you endless time and headaches finding almost anything you might need.
Ask your current veterinarian, too. It’s a global world these days, and medical professionals often travel internationally to attend conferences, etc. Who knows who your vet knows?