Update to admittance/check-out, discontinuation of non-essential services, and reduction of hours.

VCA Canada Communications

March 18, 2020

Dear Client,

As we live our purpose of caring for life’s greatest companions to the best of our ability during these challenging times, the health and safety of our patients, clients, and hospital teams remains our top priority.  We are implementing and adapting plans and protocols based on the best direction from public health and veterinary authorities so that our hospital teams are able to continue to provide care for our patients. Veterinary care is an essential part of our community and we want to assure you that our hospital is open and will continue to provide services at this time. We also want to work with you and our hospital teams to limit direct contact in order to focus on safety for everyone during this pandemic.

In keeping with current expert recommendations, we have made the following changes at our hospitals:

Admittance and check-out

When arriving at our hospital, we ask that you follow the below steps for the safety of all:

  • Upon arrival at the hospital, please remain in your vehicle or outside the hospital and call us.
  • After receipt of the call, we will check you in as soon as possible from outside the hospital.
  • If you believe you need to be inside our facility, please discuss that request in advance with the Hospital Manager, Medical Director, and/or attending veterinarian.
  • If you are at the hospital to pick up food or medication, please remain in your car outside the hospital and call the front desk.We will deliver your order to your car as quickly as possible.
  • If you are not feeling well or may be at risk of exposure to coronavirus, please ask a healthy friend or family member to transport your pet to the hospital on your behalf.

Note that this protocol is in effect at all VCA Canada hospitals, including our primary, urgent care, emergency and specialty practices.

We will do our best to coordinate your visit from outside the hospital, including providing follow up instructions and taking payments.


Discontinuation of all non-essential (or elective) medical services

In alignment with our national and many of our provincial veterinary medical associations we have discontinued all non-essential (or elective) medical services in our hospitals. This is an unprecedented decision but one that will allow us to continue our purpose of caring for life’s greatest companions while helping to further reduce the potential for transmission of COVID-19 within our communities.

The question of what exactly constitutes an essential or emergent service versus a non-essential or elective procedure or service will be determined by our medical teams.  We will be in contact with you directly if you have a previously scheduled procedure that will need to be postponed and rescheduled.


Change in hospital hours

Effective immediately, we will be changing the operational hours in our hospitals:

  • Primary care hospitals will have reduced operational hours - 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.


  • Urgent care hospitals will also have reduced operational hours - 9am to 5pm Monday to Sunday.


  • Operational hours at our emergency hospitals remain unchanged at this time (open 24/7).

For the latest information on operational times or protocols of any of our hospitals, please call the hospital directly, or check the hospital website or Facebook page.

Methods of payment

Effective immediately, we will no longer accept cash or cheques in our hospitals.  We will continue to accept Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and debit. Financing is also available through our partner, Paybright.


Product availability

We have been in constant contact with the suppliers and manufacturers responsible for ensuring our hospitals have sufficient supply of veterinary diets and over the counter products, and we do not anticipate any disruption to this supply.  However, instances of buying large quantities of these products have strained the supply chain unnecessarily.  We respectfully request that our clients limit their purchases of these products to immediate need plus one month’s supply to ensure all clients and patients have access to these products.

Our goal is to keep our essential services available to the communities we serve and to be there for you and your pets. Thank you for your cooperation and for doing your part in helping to keep pets and people safe, and please don’t hesitate to call with questions. We anticipate our phone lines will be busier than usual, and therefore, we appreciate your patience!

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, we will adapt and change. We are committed to providing you with the latest information as soon as possible so that you can make the best decisions for your pet’s healthcare. 



Daryl Verbeek

President, VCA Canada Animal Hospitals

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