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2020 Winner of Alameda Magazine's Best Veterinary Clinic Award.

Photo of dog and cat friends.

Do you have pet insurance?

One of the questions clients ask their veterinarian most often is “Should I get pet insurance?” The vast majority of veterinarians feel that this would be a good decision. Veterinary care is expensive, and studies have shown that the cost of owning a pet over their lifespan can total tens of thousands of dollars. Some people are fortunate enough to have adequate funds to cover a large veterinary bill, but most are not. The most heart-wrenching situations vets encounter in practice are when clients’ decisions are significantly impacted by financial constraints.

Insurance is insurance. If you don’t have it, you wish you did. And if you do have it, you may be frustrated if you never use it. But really, that's a good thing.

Most pet insurance companies base their premiums on your zip code and on the age of the animal. Most premiums do not lock your pet in for their lifetime, and they are assessed year to year. So as an animal ages, premiums will go up. Be sure to look at any caps on care. And of course, most companies will not cover an animal with a pre-existing condition. Definitely read the fine print! If you can find insurance with a lifetime policy, that is ideal.

Photo of a dog and cat in a bed together.

Another thing to look at is the insurance company itself. We have dealt with all kinds of companies; some are good, and some are super annoying. We’ve had some that fail to cover care until we can provide a final diagnosis. If the diagnosis is not concrete, as many conditions are, the insurance company will not cover the cost. Some insurance companies will only cover certain procedures. Be sure to look into whether your insurance covers preventive care. Also, definitely consider an insurance plan that covers dental care. Dental care is very important to the overall health of an animal, and many animals benefit from annual dental cleanings.

An overnight trip to the emergency hospital for vomiting could cost $2000. A surgery for a torn ligament may cost $5000 or possibly even more. MRIs can be $5000. You’ll need to decide whether it makes sense to pay insurance premiums and deductibles, or to cover all of your pet’s medical bills out-of-pocket. Generally speaking, when doing the math, it makes sense to have pet insurance.

Here’s a link to a very informative article that can help you make the best decision for your situation: Choosing a pet insurance policy that’s right for you.

Cara’s Travel Tips

A PDF of Cara Yanussi’s experienced advice for taking a road trip with your pet(s) is available here.

Illustration of a dog in a crate and 2 cats in a crate.


Alameda Pet Hospital is now hosting in-person examinations for pets of vaccinated clients on a limited basis. We are also continuing our curbside care. We still require all clients to call or text us upon arrival, even for those who plan to enter our building for their animal’s examination. Masks are required.

When you arrive, please call us at 510-523-1626 and select option 2


text the phrase “I’M HERE” to 510-523-1626. Be sure to include your first name, last name, and your pet’s name.

Exams & Non-Urgent Questions

We are utilizing several alternatives to phone calls due to our extremely high call volume. Please reach out to us via email at or text us at 510-523-1626 for refill requests, non-urgent questions, or appointment requests.  Please include your full name and your animal’s name when texting us. We will get back to you within 1-2 business days.

We require 24 hours notice minimum when canceling an appointment. There may be a fee for a violation of this policy. Please communicate with our staff if you are unable to keep your appointment.

Due to increased demand for services, we require a deposit for new clients. This fee will be applied to the first veterinary visit. If the appointment is canceled more than 24 hours in advance, the funds will be refunded to the card used. If the appointment is rescheduled, the deposit will roll over to the new appointment.

Prescription Refills

If your pet needs a prescription refilled, you might want to try our online pharmacy so that your order can be delivered directly to your home. Medication refill requests may also be submitted via email or text (510-523-1626). Requests received before 12 pm for medications with refills previously authorized will be available for pick-up after 4 pm the same day, otherwise the next day. Medications without previously approved refills must be approved by one of our veterinarians. Please allow an additional business day for approval.

Coronavirus Information

For the very latest information on COVID-19, you can check these sites:

CDC – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
WHO – World Health Organization
WSAVA – World Small Animal Veterinary Association

Photo of black and white cat

If you need veterinary care for birds, reptiles, or small mammals, click here for Dr. Granzow’s list of local exotic vets.

Our New Office Hours

We will be closed for Memorial Day on Monday, May 30.

8:00 am–6:00 pm

Our reception area will be closed daily from 12:30–2:00 pm for training and lunch breaks.

We are happy to announce that we are again accepting new clients!

Contact Us

(510) 523-1626

Alameda Pet Hospital
2275 Buena Vista Avenue
Alameda, CA 94501
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