Tips for Choosing the Right Veterinarian
When it comes to veterinarians, it's important to choose a vet who you can trust. Not only will they be responsible for your furry family member's routine healthcare, but also assist any potential health problems, medical conditions and preventative care to ensure your dog lives a happy and healthy life. That's why it's important to take the time to research the best vet possible who will meet you and your dog's needs.
Whether you recently adopted a new dog or are in need of finding a new veterinarian, here are our top tips for choosing the right one:
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 pe
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? If not, do they have a partner or referral for emergency care that they have a good relationship with?
- 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?
- What are their standard preventative care recommendations? Do they offer a plan or package for this type of care?
- What type of onsite diagnostics do they provide? What do they have to send out or refer?
- 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)
- Are they Fear Free certified? (Fear Free Pets is an independent organization providing training and certifications on fear-free handling at veterinary clinics. A certified practice means the majority of their staff have completed the training and practice handling methods that minimize fear, stress, and anxiety in pets visiting the vet)
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 answer all of the questions you had thoroughly and in a manner you felt comfortable with?