Veterinarians in the UK

Find out how to access vaccinations and veterinary care for dogs, cats and other pets in the UK...

There are a great many veterinary practices throughout the UK. Their regulatory body is the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) which ensures that standards within the veterinary profession are maintained. They have an online Find A Vet search engine which enables the user to search for RCVS accredited practices or recognised specialists.

Emergency vet services

Many practices maintain a 24 hour call-out service in case of emergencies. In addition, Vets Now provides Out Of Hours (OOH) emergency veterinary care, with a searchable database of participating clinics.

Vaccinations for Dogs and Cats

Dogs may be vaccinated against distemper, infectious canine hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus and kennel cough, all of which are endemic in the UK. For travelling abroad under the PETS scheme, dogs must be vaccinated against rabies, which is not endemic in the UK.

Cats may be vaccinated against feline infectious enteritis or panleucopenia, feline leukaemia, Chlamydia and cat flu, all of which are endemic in the UK, and against rabies when travelling abroad under the PETS scheme.

The first vaccination course for both dogs and cats consists of two or more vaccinations, administered when puppies are 6-8 weeks old, and kittens 9-10 weeks old. The first vaccination is a lower strength version of the full vaccination, and is used to prepare the pet's immune system for the second vaccine two weeks later. The second vaccination raises the pet's immune system to the correct level of protection.

Boosters are recommended on an annual basis and vets provide a certificate confirming the vaccination, and highlight when the next one is due. Many boarding kennels, training classes and catteries only accept pets which have this certificate.