Pets stores and Vets in Manila – The Good and the Bad
When in a new country with your pets, usually one of your first concerns is where to get all of the things you need to keep your pet happy, pampered, and healthy. In Manila there is a wide range of establishments to choose from. For food, toys, veterinary clinics, and finding a new four-legged family member you don’t have to search too hard. However, some of these businesses are better than others when it comes to the treatment of animals.
When it comes to getting all of the things your pet needs and deserves, there are a number of options. For pet food, most supermarkets have a reasonable range available. In Makati the best range and value for money I have found is at Landmark. They have a bigger variety of dog food compared to cat food but I can still find cat litter and the brand of cat food my cats like, for the best price in Manila.
Photo by Scott Allford
You can go to the pet stores for this as well. I’ve heard that a really good pet store is Bow & Wow, located at the Shangri-La Mall in Mandaluyong (5/L; 638-3372)., although it is a little expensive, they offer organic foods that are actually fit for human consumption as well, and they are truly the healthier option when it comes to pet food.
For toys you can make a trip out to Cartimar as they have a huge range. However, the conditions some of the animals are kept in can be a bit dubious. Also most pet stores carry a range of toys as well.
I bought my Siamese cat from a pet store in Makati. In the past I have gotten my cats from Animal Welfare and from the street. However, when we saw little Rajah Kidlat in the window of Bio-Research (then located in Glorietta), we instantly fell in love with him. He was in a tiny cage in the front window with no litter or food and surrounded by other cages of barking dogs. He was actually quite traumatised. When we took him for his first check-up and vaccinations we learned he had ear mites, lice and other parasites. For the only pet I have ever gotten from a pet store, he was the unhealthiest pet I have ever welcomed into my family.
Photo by Scott Allford
As I also travel a lot, I need somewhere to leave my cats when on a long vacation. I initially had some friends who would look after my cats when I went away, but when that option was gone I had to put them into a cattery. I took them to Animal House on Jupiter Street in Makati. Every time I go to Animal House they are trying to sell me supplies, specialty foods, and medicines that I really don’t need. I do understand, they are a business and they need to make money. When I took my cats to their cattery I was shocked to learn that even if two cats share a cage you have to pay the boarding cost for each individual animal. It was actually more expensive than the hotel I was staying in that weekend. But as I had no other option I had to accept. After putting Rajah Kidlat in the cage, he looked like he was going to have a heart attack, obviously still traumatised by his experience at Bio-Research. But I left him there. A few hours later my conscience got the better of me and I went back to pick up my cats. It was after Animal House’s usual business hours and I went upstairs to the cattery to find the air-conditioner was turned off and the room was really hot and humid, the room stunk of cat poo and pee as the litter boxes were full of it, and my cats had not been fed. Needless to say, I will never leave them there again.
Currently I leave my cats at home with a large amount of food and plenty of toys when I go away for the weekend. However, I have since learned there are a number of good places to leave your pets when you’re out of town, and CARA can help you find them.
A really good organisation for cats and dogs is CARA (Compassion and Responsibility for Animals) http://www.caraphil.org +632 8825323. When I got Rajah neutered I took him there and they were very good. They adopt out strays and rescued animals. I seriously recommend that if you want a new pet, visit their website and check out their adoption gallery. Also they can connect you with people who are willing to take care of your pets while you are out of town. In addition to this, CARA also holds regular events around Manila for adoptions and general information on animal issues.
Also CARA recommended a few vets that, in their experience, have been very good in handling the needs of CARA’s members.
Dr Raymond de Villa 0917-5266747 635-6895
Animal Care Specialists
Stalls 16-17, Pet Village
Tiendesitas Complex, C-5 Highway
Dr Nielsen Donato 0918-8366286 531-1581 to -1584
Vets in Practice
63 Maysilo Circle corner Boni Avenue
Plainview, Mandaluyong City
Dr Nick Carpio 0917-8559876 556-2885
Carveldon Veterinary Center
Unit 21 Aqualand Apartment
Cartimar Complex, Taft Avenue
Other than these vets, an acquaintance told me that due to some bad experiences in the past, he is very choosy about which vet he will take his dog to. He said that the Veterinary Hospital at UP Diliman was the best. After other vets told him that his dog was going to die and wanted to charge huge fees to keep it alive, he took his dog to UP Diliman and they brought the dog back to its normal happy, healthy self. He now lives far from the UP Diliman Campus so he said he always researches whether a vet went to UP Diliman before he takes his pets there.
Photo by Scott Allford
I’m sure there are many other good places and many other bad pet stores and vets in Manila. However, if the health and well being of your pet is your highest priority, I suggest that the most important thing to do is to always research the places you take your pets to in order to keep them happy and healthy. This way you can have peace of mind when it comes to the health and wellness of your furry family members.
Scott M. Allford has lived and worked in Australia and South Korea and has travelled extensively throughout Asia- Mongolia, China, Tibet, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia and Japan – fell in love with the Philippines and decided to allocate at least two years to comprehensively cover the country.
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