Finding the Best Vet for Your Pet

There are few things more important to a beloved pet’s health than care by a quality veterinarian. Still, many pet parents don’t bother to really consider their options, choosing instead to go to the closest or least expensive vet. Here, we’ll look at the process of choosing a quality veterinarian using a veterinarians directory, online reviews, and personal visits to vets’ offices.

The first step toward choosing the right vet for your pet is o develop a pool of potential choices. There are three major resources here:

  1. A veterinarians directory. Look for a directory of veterinarians online or look in the phone book for a vet directory. A directory of vets will list location and contact information. Your best bet is to choose four or five offices from the veterinarian directory who are closest to you.
  2. Online reviews. Take the names you got from the veterinarians directory and look for online reviews on those offices. Eliminate any options if they have unanimously bad reviews.
  3. Word of mouth. Talk to friends and family members. They might add a few names to your list or maybe encourage you to get rid of a few.

After you’ve scoured the veterinarians directory and made a few edits to your list, the next step is to make a visitation appointment. Leave your pet at home, as per ASPCA recommendations. The goal is for you to get a feel for the facility and to ask some important questions.

What you should see:

  1. Clean facilities. Does it smell like a place where a lot of pets have been? It shouldn’t. Does it look dirty? Pass.
  2. Modern, updated set up. Just as in the world of human medicine, there are constant updates and advances in veterinary medicine. You wouldn’t want to walk into a doctor’s office that felt like a backwards trip in time. Don’t put your pet through it, either.
  3. Organization. A well organized vet is one that will be better equipped to care for your pet efficiently, safely, and gently. The absent minded professor trope is one best left out of veterinary offices.

What you should ask:

  1. How many vets are on staff? Sometimes, vets will share a practice along with the responsibility for each other’s patients during vacations and other absences.
  2. Is the practice AAHA accredited? You wouldn’t want an unqualified doctor. Don’t choose an unqualified vet for your beloved pet.
  3. What kind of equipment does the practice use? Top of the line equipment shows that a practice is dedicated to providing the best care to their patients.
  4. Does the vet refer patients to specialists when necessary?
  5. Are there licensed vet techs on the staff? Some practices will hire non certified techs.
  6. 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. See this reference for more:

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