About BDC

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California Animal Hospital | Berkeley Dog & Cat

Our job is to treat your pets when they aren't feeling well and help you learn how to keep them happy and healthy every day. We are proud of what we’re doing today and of our rich history of helping the animals of Berkeley for more than a century.

Hospital Overview

Berkeley Dog & Cat Hospital has been a leader in veterinary medicine, treating the Bay Area’s pets for over 100 years.

As an accredited member of the American Animal Hospital Association, Berkeley Dog & Cat Hospital is dedicated to providing excellence in veterinary care. Our hospital is evaluated regularly by AAHA to ensure that we meet or exceed the association’s strict standards of excellence. AAHA standards are recognized around the world as the benchmark for quality care in veterinary medicine.

Hospital History

People have been caring for animals on our hospital site since the early days of California history. Records show that a livery stable initially occupied this site in 1879. The property extended over what is now two entire blocks and harbored a blacksmith who cared for the horses of the Berkeley and Oakland police and fire departments. There were numerous paddocks and holding pens for the animals, mulberry trees in the pasture, and equipment for treating the animals when ill.

A New Focus on Pets. In 1907, Dr. McNair officially named the facility Berkeley Dog & Cat Hospital and began specializing in pet animals rather than farm animals—a rather novel concept at the time. Reportedly, injuries from a horse kick forced him to stop treating large animals and concentrate on his dog and cat practice. Since that initial construction, there have been at least six facility remodels. Portions of the old building that survived the 1906 earthquake still form the framework in one part of the hospital.

By the 1960s, under the tutelage of Drs. Cucuel and Frye, the hospital continued to treat Berkeley’s growing pet population and earned itself a reputation for high-quality medicine and progressive practices.  The practice became known for our special expertise in reptile and amphibian medicine.  We soon became the source of numerous scientific articles on the care of these more unusual pets and Dr. Frye published the first textbook on reptile medicine.

Special Veterinary Services. In 1976, Drs. Benjamin and Shriro took over the practice and quickly realized that the rapid advancement of technology occurring in the medical fields was beyond the financial reach of local veterinarians.  Two years later, they opened the Berkeley Center for Special Veterinary Services within our facility to identify the then-novel concept of a group of specialists all sharing a single facility and a single set of advanced instrumentation.

With board certified specialists available, local practitioners could now send their patients to us instead of the University of Davis.  We were the first private veterinary hospital in the world to install a CAT scan machine.  Along with special radiology and surgery instruments, this allowed us to provide advanced diagnostics and therapeutics to the Bay Area’s pets.

With a further expansion completed a few years ago, we are now one of the largest and most sophisticated veterinary facilities in California.

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