Tips On Choosing The Right Veterinarian

Heidi Ganahl shares tips on choosing the right vet for your pet, featured in Kids Out and About

Heidi GanahlChoosing the right veterinarian to care for your furry family member and keeping them healthy is a very personal decision to make for any pet parent. Whether you’re getting a new pet or would just like to investigate switching veterinarians, choosing the right one is important because any family member deserves the best care possible – and we all want our pets to stay with the family for years to come. Not only do you want a vet that provides high quality care, but one you feel comfortable with, too.

To help you tackle your veterinarian search and ensure your dog’s health is in top shape, Heidi Ganahl, CEO and Founder of Camp Bow Wow, North America’s largest and fastest growing pet care franchise and INC 5000 company, has provides these tips to help answer the questions every pet owner should be asking:

1. Talk to your friends and family members

If your close friends and family members have a vet in the area that they like, you may want to start there. Ask them what they like about their vet and what experiences they have had with them. Has it just been general checkups, or has your pet had more extensive treatment? Personal referrals are a great way to find someone to care for your pet.

2. Make appointments with a few vets in your area

If you are choosing a vet, consider making appointments with a few different doctors in your area. When you have your first appointment, you will want to take a look around the facility and take into consideration:

  • What is your first impression of their facility – Is it clean? Is the staff friendly?
  • What types of problems they are able to deal with – if your pet has a more serious issue, can they handle it? Who do they refer you to?
  • Do they have 24-hour emergency care?
  • How many vets do they have on staff?
  • How easy is it to make an appointment?
  • Does the facility fit with your budget? Do they have payment plans if your animal were to have a serious medical condition?
  • Are they AAHA accredited? (The American Animal Hospital Association oversees and evaluates the quality of the veterinary staff, facility, patient care and the equipment they use)

3. Ask questions to determine your comfort level with your potential vet:

  • How long have they been practicing and what veterinary school did they graduate from?
  • Do they have any specialties?
  • Does the veterinarian work days and times that work with your schedule?
  • How did they interact with your pet – Were they patient? Caring?
  • Did they take their time with you or did they rush through your appointment?
  • Were they comfortable working with your pet?
  • Did they thoroughly answer all of your questions in a manner that made you feel comfortable?
  • Does the doctor ask about lifestyle and risks before prescribing optional vaccines? (I.e., some vaccines may not be necessary unless the family engages in certain activities or choices, like lots of hiking/camping, or visits to kennels)
  • Will the doctor write prescriptions and allow you to acquire them elsewhere or online (as opposed to exclusively through their office)?

Read the full article here.​