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How to Choose the Right Veterinarian for Your Pet
Posted: 05/26/2022 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories:
Our pets are our family, and we want to be sure we take the very best care of them. When thinking about how to choose the right veterinarian, we want to take the same amount of time and attention as we would selecting a pediatrician for our child’s health.
When you work with a veterinarian who is competent, kind and thorough, they can help you manage your fur baby’s health to prevent chronic diseases as they age. Establishing a solid relationship with someone you and your pet feel comfortable with means you can trust their recommendations as they guide you in helping your baby have a long and healthy life.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the things to consider when selecting the right vet for your pet:
Ask for a Referral
While you can certainly do an online search to find local veterinarians and read their website and testimonials, it’s always a good idea to start by asking a friend or family member for a referral. This way you can get first-hand experience from someone you trust.
If you’ve just moved to a new town and haven’t met anyone yet, you may want to head to a local dog park and speak with some people there. You can also contact local shelters and groomers. Do you find that a certain vets’ names keep coming up? Put them on your list of vets you think may be a good fit.
Schedule a Wellness Appointment
It’s always a great idea to schedule a wellness appointment when your fur baby is healthy and feeling good. This is great because both you and your pet will be relaxed and calm (well, your fur baby may be a little anxious) and can spend some time getting to know the prospective veterinarian.
Really observe this person to see how they interact with you and your pet. Are they friendly, warm and kind to your pet? Do they introduce themselves or just get straight to businesses? Like human doctors, animal doctors have all sorts of personalities. You want to find one that makes you and your pet feel comfortable and trusting.
You also want to watch the vet conduct a physical exam to ensure they do a thorough job. Do you feel comfortable sharing your pet’s history? Is the vet listening and asking questions? Do they seem engaged?
You will also want to ask some questions such as:
- How many veterinarians are in that practice and will you see this same vet each time?
- How long has this vet been practicing?
- What vet school did they attend?
- What are their pet care philosophies?
- Is the vet available for communication from time to time when you have questions or concerns?
- How many days in advance do you need to schedule an appointment?
- Do they offer after-hours care? If not, can they recommend a nearby emergency clinic?
During the appointment, you also want to interact with the vet techs and observe how to office runs. Is the facility clean? Are people nice and seem happy to be there? Does everyone seem to actually enjoy animals? Pet owners have a right to know as much about a vet clinic before they begin bringing their beloved fur baby in for treatment. You want to make absolutely certain you will receive high quality veterinary care.
Is the Clinic a Full-Service?
A good veterinary practice will be able to perform bloodwork, X-rays, and minor surgeries such as spay and neutering and other surgeries. You’ll still want to ask and be certain you fully understand what this veterinary practice offers in terms of medical treatments and testing. Mots general practitioners are happy to refer to you a specialist should the need ever arise.
Are They Accredited Through the American Animal Hospital Association?
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) has a set of strict guidelines and standards of care that are voluntary for veterinary caregivers to adhere to. When a clinic is accredited by this organization, it indicates they have gone through rigorous testing in order to be compliant with these strict regulations.
This being said, there are very reputable vets and clinics that have chosen not to work with AAHA and many of these will still offer top notch care. It’s just something to consider.
It’s also a good idea to check nd make sure they are an active member of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Has the Clinic Been Certified as “Fear-Free?”
No animal likes going to the vet. But there are those that are particular fearful. If your fur baby is one of these anxious pets, you may want to look for a Fear-Free certified clinic. These organizations have undergone extra training and education to provide an incredibly calm and relaxing environment for those pets who are very fearful. Fear-Free clinics use techniques and strategies that have been shown to minimize the stress response common in vet visits.
Choosing the right veterinarian for your pet’s health is not an easy undertaking. You’ll definitely want to do your research and homework and take the time to visit 2 – 3 contenders before making any final decisions. Ideally you want to find someone who has a good amount of experience but is still staying current with the latest medical advances, and who thoroughly enjoys working with pets and people. At the end of the day, you want to feel this person actually cares and is making recommendations with your fur baby’s best health and life in mind.
Top Notch Care Goes Beyond the Right Vet
Finding the right vet is definitely a first step in ensuring you provide the very best care to your fur baby. The second step is making certain you can always afford to give your pet the best care.
Let’s be very honest, vet visits can be expensive. Especially when bloodwork and X-rays are involved. And should you ever have to take your baby to an emergency clinic, you can wind up with a bill for hundreds of dollars or more!
A pet insurance plan ensures you can always afford to give your beloved dog or cat the care they need. In fact, some pet health insurance plans can provide reimbursements for up to 90% of the vet bill?
Pet Insurance Review is committed to helping pet owners give their cats and dogs the care they deserve. We bring you only the top insurance providers in the country so you can afford to give your pet the very best.
Get a free quote today.
- Dunn, T.J. DVM. The Physical Exam: What to Expect at the Veterinarian’s Office. Retrieved from: https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/evr_dg_the_physical_exam
- What Does a Vet tech Do? California University of Pennsylvania Retrieved from: https://www.calu.edu/academics/undergraduate/associate/veterinary-technology/what-does-a-vet-tech-do.aspx
- The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) https://www.aaha.org/
- Lloyd J. (2017). Minimising Stress for Patients in the Veterinary Hospital: Why It Is Important and What Can Be Done about It. Veterinary sciences, 4(2), 22. https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4020022