How to Choose a Veterinarian

by admin on June 13, 2013

VeterinarianChoosing the right veterinarian for your pet is as crucial as taking care of your animal on a daily basis. Unlike a human doctor that can verbally communicate with a patient to further understand and diagnose a problem, a vet must be able to connect with your pet to find out when there is a problem.

Do Your Research

When looking for a veterinarian, there are many crucial factors that must be considered beyond the obvious proximity to your home and prices for various services. Doing a quick web search for reviews of local vets can provide valuable insight into other pet owner’s opinions. If you have specific questions or concerns, post on these sites in an attempt to connect with past or current pet owners that have been to a particular vet. Don’t be afraid to stop into some potential veterinarian offices and explain to the office staff that you’re looking for a new vet. Ask for a brief tour. Does the office look busy? Is the facility clean? Is the office staff friendly? These factors are just as important, if not more, than meeting the actual doctor.

Interview Potential Candidates

Once you’ve narrowed your potential veterinarian candidates down to a few, take the extra step and ask to meet the doctors. Many offices will encourage this interaction so that both the veterinarian and the client (both pet and owner) are comfortable with one another. Come prepared with a list of questions pertaining to the doctor’s educational background, any professional associations, or ways he or she stays up-to-date on the latest findings in the industry. In addition, be sure to ask questions related to their emergency protocols, prescriptions and x-rays, and general plans for well and sick visits. This is the time to ask any specific questions that may be relevant to your particular situation such as the vet’s expertise with a particular diagnosis your pet has been given

Ask Your Network for Referrals

No one knows veterinarians in the area better than other pet owners. Ask your friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors what vet they use for their own pets. Listen carefully as they describe the good and the bad qualities, and use these comments as part of an informed decision. Make sure you take into account that no two animals or their needs are equal, but if multiple people within your circle have warned you of one vet and sang the praises of another, there’s likely some truth to the stories.

Listen to Your Animal

Regardless of whether you’ve done your researched, interviewed the doctor, and asked your friends for advice, your pet still has the final say in the situation. If your pet is normally a well-behaved people person, and he or she suddenly becomes overly-aggressive in the presence of the veterinarian, there is a problem. Your pet cannot tell you that he or she is uncomfortable, but pay attention to its body language. Your pet will let you know if they are not happy. As their owner, do your best to listen!