Picking the Right Vet to Care for Your Pet
Choosing a veterinarian is not as simple as it may seem. Though there are many qualified, gentle, excellent vets out there, there are also many who are not all of those things. Even among the quality veterinarians, there are many who simply might not be a good fit for your and your pet. The process of choosing the right vet can be time consuming and difficult, but well worth the extra effort. We will look closely at it here.
One excellent resource for pet parents on the hunt for a new veterinarian is online veterinarian reviews. Much of the work has already been done by other pet owners who have posted their findings on online vet reviews sites. Read reviews carefully, and take them with a grain of salt. Not all of those who review veterinarians have the same preferences as you. Once you’ve read a few reviews of veterinarians and developed a shortlist of possibilities, move on to the more involved part of the process.
The best first step towards the selection of a vet is to set up an appointment. This appointment isn’t for a check up. In fact, the ASPCA recommends leaving your pet home for the first meeting. The goal is for you to get a feel for the facility and to ask some important questions.
What to Look For When You Tour
When you’re visiting a facility, there are three major things you want to look for: cleanliness, modernity, and organization. Truthfully, you shouldn’t have to look very hard. If these things aren’t there, you’ll probably notice pretty quickly. Notice the way it smells as well as the way it looks. Though a lot of pets come in and out of those doors, it shouldn’t smell like wet dog and it shouldn’t look grimy.
Also notice whether the facilities look modern. If you walked into a doctor’s office and it looked like a photograph straight out of 1954, you probably wouldn’t feel confident that you were receiving current, best treatments. Similarly, don’t choose a vet that doesn’t seem to be with the times. Besides being modern, the facility should be organized. A veterinarian who knows where to find everything is one who is better equipped to care for your pet than an absent minded professor would be.
Questions to Ask
- How many vets are on staff?
- Is the practice AAHA accredited?
- What kind of equipment does the practice use?
- Does the vet refer patients to specialists when necessary?
- Are there licensed vet techs on the staff?
- What is the protocol for pain management?
If you don’t like what you see or don’t like the answers you get, move on. Most practices are used to clients coming and going and won’t follow up or harass you. If you choose to leave your current practice, be sure to obtain a complete copy of your pet’s health records for your new veterinarian.
Working with the right vet is an essential piece of caring for your pet. Between the recommendations of those who review veterinarians and the information you gain first visit, you should be able to develop a good idea of which vets are well suited to caring for your pet. It also would be helpful to other pet parents if you review veterinarians online as you go through the process.