When it comes to choosing a veterinary care for your pet, it’s very critical that you choose a veterinarian you can fully trust, and who you feel you would have a bonding and a connection with. They would be responsible for taking care of your best friend’s medical and other needs to ensure they live a longer, healthy and happy life, especially when it comes to emergency care.
It makes sense that you spend a lot of time researching the vets in your area or somewhere not too far to find that one vet who would be the best for your pet dog or cat. The vet that you select must not only be able to take care of all the routine healthcare that is involved in looking after your pet, but should also be able to foresee potential health problems and other medical conditions, and assist with preventative care.
If you are looking for a new veterinarian practice, here are things you must take into consideration while choosing a vet to help make your search a little easier and less stressful for both you and your pet. Selecting the right and suitable veterinarian for your dog or cat is a critical decision.
You would want to consider certain factors such as your canine companion’s age, underlying medical conditions, or any previous surgeries or injuries. Your dog or cat may need a veterinarian with specialty training, with state-of-the-art equipment, or the one who would offer special services.
How to find a vet?
Here are some ways on how to find and select the perfect vet for your pet dog or cat:
1. Where can you look for a vet?
While you may look up the pet pages of your local directory to find a vet in your area, you may want to consider asking other pet owners as well. Perhaps your relatives or friends are using a local vet? You would find plenty of satisfied vet users in either dog parks or dog training clubs. Also, make sure to check out the online reviews, just in case of any complaints or issues that have been flagged by past clients.
Ask and talk to your neighbours, friends and family. Find out whom they have tried and are willing to recommend. Talk to the breeders or the breed club members who have a lot of knowledge about veterinarians, are knowledgeable about your dog’s breed and the types of problems they experience. Managers of local shelters, groomers, and local dog trainers might be helpful, and state and local veterinary care societies may even help you locate a convenient and a reputable veterinarian.
2. Develop the kind of care your pet needs:
Not all the vets you find, treat each and every type of animal, so you would need a vet that deals with your pet’s species. You even need to think about the care that your pet would require. Does your pet only need routine care, or do they have a specialist condition that would require a different level of care? So, you have to look for the answers first and then move ahead with deciding the right veterinary care for your dog.
3. Check on professional accreditations and past experience:
How many licensed veterinary technicians and veterinarians are in the staff? Find out how long they have been in practice in this field, and about their training and education background. Do they take part in continuing education?
Are the vets accredited by a verified association? Are your chosen veterinarians, members of a professional veterinary association or their local or state veterinary association? Look for these answers and then choose the right vet for your pet.
4. How attentive is the staff to your pet?
The level of attention that a vet gives to both your pet and you is an important factor for finding a great vet. If they are not giving much attention, it is much likely that they may miss vital clues of potentially more serious conditions leading to disease.
Take into consideration how the vet and the practice staff interact with animals. Do they have a genuine concern for animals? How much time are they ready to spend with your pet? You would be able to judge this from their body language, the way they talk and the way they treat the animals that come into their surroundings.
5. How attentive are the staff to you?
It is important to ensure that your pet is getting the appropriate level of attention that they need from the vet, you may even need to feel that they’re able to communicate easily with you. A good relationship with your vet relies on proper communication, shared values, and the feeling that you can ask any questions to them when you don’t quite understand what is going on.
You need to have a positive feeling that your vet would listen to your concerns, and give you confidence in the way they diagnose and treat your cat or dog.
6. Is the practice in a suitable location?
Even if they claim to be the best veterinary care in your country or state, it won’t be of much benefit to you if you cannot access it easily. That is the reason why it makes sense to choose a vet which is at a reasonable distance from your home, so that you can get there quickly in case of an emergency.
Also Read: Are You Giving Your Pet The Right Vaccine?
7. What are the types of services available?
Good veterinary care would give you access to services such as x-rays, ultrasound, blood pressure monitoring, in-house lab tests, and even dentistry. You may even want to check the types of equipment available within the practice and that staff that is qualified to use it.
And knowing whether they have a technique or method of monitoring overnight patients would give you peace of mind if your pet needs to be admitted to the surgery.
8. What are the opening hours?
Knowing the opening and closing hours is very crucial if you’re a working pet owner. If you are not able to get to the surgery during normal working hours, enquire if they offer weekend or late-night openings.
9. Enquire about the fees:
Compare the charges and avoid deals that seem too good to be true. As with most of the products and services, you get what you pay for. The best course of action would be to ask ahead of time about fees, the costs of procedures and what methods of payments are expected and available. Find out if the veterinarian you choose, provides you with written estimates for the services they provide.
If your pet is insured, does the veterinarian approve your insurance plan? Do they provide you a detailed explanation of the services for every visit? Look for the answers and then decide whether you would be able to make up with the charges or not.
10. Are there any specialist vets available during the surgery?
Certain veterinary care practices have access to specialist vets that are available for services such as dentistry, ophthalmology and dermatology. Other methods and practices may specialize in diagnostic imaging, critical animal care or even animal cardiology. However, having these specialisms may not be a factor in your search if your pet is fit and relatively in good health.
11. Visit your chosen veterinary hospitals without your dog:
Take a tour and observe whether the surroundings and the offices are clean and well organized or not. Ask about the services they provide to the customers, find out the opening and closing hours, and ask what provisions or restrictions are made for emergency coverage, i.e. after-hours and weekends.
Several veterinarians provide in-house digital x-rays, pet dental care, dental x-rays, radiology and ultrasounds, as well as veterinary surgical services such as neutering and general surgery, orthopedic procedures, and assistance with chemotherapy. Find out the arrangements that are available for specialty referrals. Ask for the approximate waiting time to make a non-emergency appointment or can you request an appointment with a specific veterinarian or not.
12. Visit the veterinarian’s office with your dog:
Visit the office of your cat or dog and observe the “bedside manner” of the veterinary and the office staff there. Look if they try to make your dog feel at ease and comfortable. Look at the way they behave with your pet. Check if they set up the waiting area and the examination rooms to make your dog or cat feel as comfortable as possible.
The bottom line here is, ‘use your gut feeling’:
Many of us do not remember how to use our gut instinct. However, if you listen to your intuition, if you listen to your inner voice, you would soon get to know whether your chosen vet is the right person for you and your pet or not. Finding a vet that installs confidence and trust is vital for any relationship, and even for the welfare of your pet.
Tags: How To Choose A Vet For My Cat, Tips For Choosing A Vet, Costs Of Veterinary Services
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