Going to the Vet in Lisbon

Written By Becky Gillespie

Portugal in general loves its four-legged friends with over half of Portuguese households owning a pet. Many cafés have outdoor dining where pets are welcome. Restaurants offer dog treats or put out a water bowl for their animal guests. Water fountains in public parks sometimes have a spigot at the base to make it easier for owners to give their pets a drink. Dog parks are also available in Portugal’s bigger cities. Pets, like babies and children, are also greeted by the Portuguese with love and affection instead of frustration. In short, your pet will be quite welcome in Portugal.  

Photo by chanyq320 (Flickr)

Moving your pet to Portugal is not a simple process, but once you arrive, it’s also important to know where to go to give your furry companions the best care. The Portuguese capital of Lisbon has a wide range of high-quality clinics to ensure that your pet will receive the best veterinary assistance whether you need a check-up, a vaccine, or urgent care.

Prices for vet care in Lisbon are generally comparable to clinics in the USA or other European countries, but you may find that it’s easier to make an appointment in Portugal and some additional services may be thrown in under the same consultation fee.

We have provided our top five choices for vet care in Lisbon below, but this list is by no means exhaustive. We can assure you that great veterinary clinics are never too far from your door in Portugal’s capital city.

Best Veterinary Clinics in Lisbon

São Bento Veterinary Hospital

Location: R. de Sāo Bento 358-A, 1200-822

São Bento Veterinary Hospital is undoubtedly one of the best veterinary clinics in Lisbon and certainly one of the fanciest. Entering the hospital here feels more like entering a spa, and they even have separate floors for cats and dogs. The hospital is also open 24 hours a day for emergency treatment. Prices are fair and comparable to the USA, but the quality of the facility here is likely nicer. The doctors here also speak English, so a language barrier will not be an issue in getting your cuddly companion the best care possible.

Photo by Kerri Lee Smith (Flickr)

São João Veterinary Clinic

Location: Praça Sāo João Bosco 17, 1350-296

São João is a great vet clinic in the western district of Campo de Ourique for check-ups and vaccines. The doctors here are very caring and the consultation fees are cheaper than in many comparable US clinics, starting at 30€ regardless of whether you bring in one dog or two. The doctors here also speak English and are generous with their time. It is common, depending on the doctor, to receive follow-up care without having every extra service charged. It is also easy to bring a pet in without an appointment here, making it easy to stay on top of even the smallest of issues with your pet.

CoolVet

Location: R. Borges Grainha 11, 1170-302

CoolVet near the neighborhood of Intendente is an expat-friendly clinic that can issue European pet passports in addition to taking care of any daily issues that your furbaby may encounter in their Lisbon lives. Doctors speak English and several other languages here and give each pet time and affection. The love that the staff have for animals is palpable and many customers have been coming for years. Prices are also affordable and in line with other clinics.

Alcântara Veterinary Clinic

Location: R. Luis de Camōes 133 A, 1300-357

For those living closer to Alcântara, this clinic has highly dedicated professionals and many customers who have been bringing their furry friends here for more than 10 years. The entire staff is attentive to your needs and will ensure that your pets receive the best care. While the facilities may not be as modern as São Bento Veterinary Clinic, the attention given to your beloved companions is always reliable. Prices are comparable to other top-notch clinics in the city.

Cat Hospital

Location: R. Fernão Mendes Pinto 56, 1400-146

The Cat Hospital is on the western outskirts of Lisbon in a district called Algés, but for those with feline friends, it’s a great place to get specialized care. The Cat Hospital is on call 24/7 and handles emergency care. No appointment is necessary although calling in advance will help. The hospital is clean, convenient, and well-prepared for whatever your cat may need. They also offer cat adoption for those looking for a pet.

Photo by Ralf RKLFoto (Flickr)

Great Places to Buy Pet Food in Lisbon

Once you’ve found your favorite vet clinic, it’s also important to know where to buy the best food for your pet. While all major supermarkets such as Pingo Doce or Continente offer pet food, here are a few specialty shops to find great food and specialty items for your pet family.

Petblue

Location: Rua Dom João V 31, 1250-091

Returning to the neighborhood of Campo do Ourique, Petblue is one of the best all-around pet shops in Lisbon with a wide range of pet supplies for different budgets. They also offer a self-service bath and drying space for pets, and the staff are also known to give treats to pets at the register. Prices are fair and customer service is attentive. If you are a pet owner, it’s worth a trip to this neighborhood just to stop by Petblue.

Marco e os Animais

Location: R. Ferreira Borges 92A

Another winner in the Campo do Ourique neighborhood is Marco e os Animais. Great prices, grooming service, and even animal adoption are available here. The staff of dedicated professionals are ready to help you find anything you need. If something is not in stock, it can be quickly ordered for you. Marco e os Animais is actually a chain with shops also in Areeiro and Lapa.

Empório Do Bicho

Location: Tv. Monte do Carmo 17, 1200-276

Empório Do Bicho is a small, centrally located pet shop with a friendly owner named Miguel. Despite its modest size, Empório Do Bicho is well stocked and Miguel can get anything that is out of stock delivered within a few days. Like Petblue, this shop also offers a grooming service. Walking into this shop is like stepping into an old-fashioned grocery store but for pets. Don’t be surprised if a pet is waiting there to greet you. 

Sancho Pancho Pet Store

Location: R. de Sant’Ana à Lapa 112A, 1200-800

Owners Dasha and Rafael are doing something different at their small pet shop in Lapa. Sancho Pancho repurposes rescued ingredients from farms, supermarkets, local butchers, and fish shops to make healthy, natural dog treats. The treats are nutrient-rich, 100% natural and minimally processed, have no additives or artificial flavors, and are suitable for all types of dogs and life stages. By buying treats from Sancho Pancho, you are contributing to sustainability. 

Should I buy pet insurance?

Most pet owners in Lisbon pay out-of-pocket at the vet clinics, but pet insurance is available if you want to cover a member of your pet family. Activo Bank, a local subsidiary of Millennium Bank, offers a pet insurance simulator here, ranging from 34€ to 372€ per year for, as an example, one four-year-old Golden Retriever. This changes, of course, depending on the age and breed of your pet. If you have an older pet, you may find the cost of insurance to be too expensive. Overall, this is a personal choice. The insurance is available, but many opt not to take out a policy. 

Final Thoughts

When it comes to vet care, your pet will be in great hands in the city of Lisbon. A wide range of clinics and pet stores are available to ensure that your pet has the best quality care and nutrition. Prices are affordable and you will soon bump into many other enthusiastic pet owners around the city. Check out a dog park, join a local Facebook group for pet owners, and try a few clinics to find the best one for you. Your pet will feel at home in no time!

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