Veterinary Clinics vs. Animal Hospitals

March 11, 2020
While they may seem fairly similar, these facilities can vary hugely in terms of the amount of help and attention your pet will receive.

Veterinary clinics and animal hospitals contain a different range of facilities and equipment. Most of us are much more familiar with the concept of veterinary clinics, as we tend to visit them more often.

So, today, we’re going to tell you a little more about the role and importance of animal hospitals.

Key differences between veterinary clinics and animal hospitals

The most obvious difference between veterinary clinics and animal hospitals is in the range of care that staff will be able to offer your pet. Firstly, clinics are private institutions that generally focus their services on outpatient care and preventative medicine. They can only offer a small range of surgical options, testing and inpatient facilities.

On the other hand, hospitals are usually public institutions. Their services include both inpatient and outpatient care, preventative treatment, intensive therapy, surgical intervention and emergency treatment.

Another difference between hospitals and clinics is that clinics don’t offer as many specialist services as hospitals. That said, in many countries clinics are beginning to expand the amount of medical care they’re providing. Hospitals often cover a number of specialist areas, and have a huge variety of experienced medical staff.

A dog at the vet.

Finally, we should mention that hospitals also play an important role in training health professionals. It’s very rare for clinics to offer medical residency positions, and staff are unlikely to specialize in one particular field of medicine.

Animal hospitals and health promotion

The concept of animal hospitals is relatively new to the world of veterinary medicine. The most interesting thing about these hospitals is their work in raising awareness of advancements in veterinary medicine.

Animal hospitals also act as a platform for improving and promoting animal health. Their function goes beyond treating and caring for sick pets. In fact, their entire structure is designed to create a center for research, management, information and the practice of veterinary medicine.

These innovative facilities require the backing of relevant authorities, and seek to establish collaborative ties with universities and laboratories. They may also need long-term financial backing to support their services and infrastructure.

These hospitals also aim to promote innovative discussions on veterinary practices, and health management within veterinary medicine. But what does all this actually mean? Let’s start by gaining a better understanding of what it means to promote animal health, and its importance for society.

What is health promotion?

Promotion is a concept that is recognized and addressed by the World Health Organization (WHO). In its official glossary, WHO defines health promotion as:

“Enabling people to increase control over their own health.”

Promoting health means informing and preparing citizens to fight and prevent diseases. This doesn’t just include doctors and health professionals; it requires the commitment of educational institutions, media, and members of the public.

As you can probably imagine, this concept has a huge social impact, and forces us to think about our own health culture. Do we give sufficient importance to prevention, or do we tend to look for cures instead? Do we, as citizens, help to promote health, or do we generally leave this up to doctors, nurses and other health professionals?

Promotion of animal health in today’s society

Certain positive actions that help promote animal health are already common in many countries. For example, if you think about your own pets, you may have already come across vaccination and sterilization campaigns.

A bay horse.

When it comes to wildlife, we are making progress – albeit slowly – in raising awareness of environmental issues. Currently, not only do many countries fine and imprison those who commit wildlife crimes, but we’re also beginning to educate new generations so that they understand and respect nature.

There are also penalties for those who abuse animals, and for the illegal commercialization of wild and domestic animals. Plus, hatcheries, clinics, hospitals and other institutions that work with animals are obliged to undergo health inspections.

However, there are still very few official institutions devoted to the organization and promotion of informative practices and materials on animal health. In this sense, the arrival of animal hospitals was an important step in the right direction.