How to Choose the Right Vet for Your Pet
Whether you are a first-time pet owner who’s just adopted a new friend or just relocating to a new city with your current furry friend, finding a trustworthy vet should always be a top priority. After all, having a relationship with your vet is a necessary duty of being a responsible pet owner.
As you look for a new veterinarian, keep in mind that you want to be able to reach out to them with any questions or concerns that you may have throughout the lifetime of your pet. A good veterinarian becomes part of a pet’s life in addition to forming a relationship with the pet owner. Here are ten things that you should look out for as you begin your search for a new veterinarian.
1) Good Reviews With Lots of Recommendations
Ask friends and families about their veterinarians and try to get a feel for the different options that are available to you in your community. References from breeders and animal shelters will help you get an idea of the best veterinarians in your area. Once you’ve compiled a list of veterinarians that other community members are using, do some research online about each office. Look at reviews and comments sections, and don’t be afraid to call the office and ask questions.
2) A Community
Find out how many veterinarians work for the office that you’re looking into. Is the veterinarian involved with the animal community in ways that transcend the office? Do owners feel comfortable bringing their pet into the office for regular checkups even if their animal is healthy? A good veterinary practice should be a hub for pet owners in the community, so if it feels like the office is working to bring together animals and their owners, that’s a good sign.
3) Efficient Emergency Care
Does the veterinary practice offer emergency services? Does the office accommodate emergencies like car accidents, or will they refer you to another practice in the community? Ask about whether there are doctors on call that will be able to answer questions you may have when your animal is having acute health issues.
4) Easy Appointment Scheduling
Find out generally how long it will take to get your pet in for an appointment. Is there an online portal that makes it easy for you to schedule appointments and ask questions? What is the protocol in case of an emergency? Is the facility open 24 hours for emergency care? Make sure that you can request appointments with a specific veterinarian if there is more than one in a practice.
5) Compatible Payment Methods
Inquire about which payment methods the practice accepts. Do the accepted payment methods work with your finances? Do they work with clients to set up payment plans and personal financing for more expensive procedures?
6) Telephone Availability
A good veterinarian office will have a doctor, specialist, or qualified assistant available to take phone calls during business hours. Make sure that you can leave messages for your veterinarian and that they will call back to answer any questions.
Make sure that your veterinarian and their office is part of a veterinarian association like the American Veterinary Medical Association or other state or local association. An ideal veterinary office will have programs set up for doctors to constantly be continuing their education.
8) Onsight Equipment
Is the office equipped with X-Ray machines, ultrasound equipment, in-house lab tests, blood pressure monitoring, and other necessary equipment? This is a good time to think about the specific needs of your pet—is this clinic equipped to care for the needs of you and your pet?
9) Hours That Work for You
Do the office hours work with your specific job or life and family schedules? If you work from 9-5 Monday through Friday and those are also the hours of the office, you may want to find a vet that is open on the weekend as well.
10) Good Vibes
When it comes to finding the right veterinary clinic for you and your pet, always trust your gut feeling. Chances are good that your animal companion functions like a member of your family, and so naturally, you want the best for them.
Ask yourself: Do you feel like you and the vet will be able to communicate well and that your needs will be met? If you walk into an vet’s office and immediately feel comfortable, that’s a good sign that this is probably the right vet for you.
Author: Giano Panzarella