As a pet owner, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is finding a reliable veterinarian for your furry friend.
Although choosing the right vet is a highly personal decision, it’s essential to choose an experienced practice with high-quality care and professional veterinary equipment that shares your philosophies about pet care. From starting your search to asking the right questions, here’s everything you need to know to make the best choice for your pet.
How do you look for a veterinarian?
If you have friends or family members with pets, start by asking for recommendations. Local groomers, breeders, and doggy daycares may also be able to recommend a reliable vet practice in your area. Asking local pet-friendly businesses can help you find experienced veterinarians that might not show up on the first page of Google.
According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), nearly 60% of pet owners think their vet clinic is accredited when it is not. The AAHA rates veterinary practices based on their staff, facilities, vet equipment, and care. During your search, make sure to check whether potential vet clinics are accredited.
How do you decide which vet is right for your pet?
To decide which vet is right for your pet, start by scheduling consultations with potential practices. Visit the office without your pet to meet the staff and get an overall feel for the practice. During your first appointment, take note of whether the facility is clean, modern, and organized.
During your search, it may be helpful to consider the location of the practice and the their fees. A close and convenient location is beneficial, especially if your pet needs regular care for a medical condition. If your pet is insured, make sure the clinic accepts your insurance plan. If you don’t have insurance, asking about payment plans and financial assistance options– can help you make the best choice for your financial situation.
Before committing, consider whether you have a good rapport with the vet. In any health care relationship, effective communication is key to establishing trust and ensuring quality care.
What questions should you ask when choosing a vet?
When meeting with the staff, ask about the number of vets in the practice. Choosing one with multiple vets on staff means you’ll be able to access care, even when your primary provider is on vacation or away from the office.
It’s also important to ask about the services they provide and their emergency coverage. Many practices offer in-house digital x-rays, dental x-rays, ultrasounds, radiology, and surgical services. Finally, ask about what arrangements are made for specialty referrals and how long the average weight time is for a non-emergency appointment.
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