It's exciting to add a new pet to your family! One of the first steps to take is finding a veterinarian who can provide your new cat or dog with the quality care they need and deserve. Today our Enterprise vets share some tips on how you can find the best veterinarian for your cat or dog.
How Can I Find The Right Veterinarian For My Pet?
Whether you've just brought a new cat or dog into the household, or need a new veterinarian, there are many factors you need to take into consideration. Your pet needs a professionally trained veterinarian to provide the best possible care for your companion animal, and you need to be able to trust and interact comfortably with your primary vet.
Here, our Enterprise vets provide you with some valuable advice on how you can find the right veterinarian for your pet.
Ask Fellow Pet Owners For Tips
Start your search by talking to other pet owners you know in your area. What vet do they go to, and why? What convinced them that that veterinarian was the right choice? You can ask friends, family, pet groomers, and even fellow pet parents in a pet supply store or at the dog park.
We all love our animal friends, so you will probably come across some interesting and varied opinions, valuable information – and maybe even some important elements you haven't thought of considering.
Check The Reviews Online
If you get some likely leads from other pet owners, you can get started on a bit of detective work. Google and social media platforms can be your friends when it comes to looking for a new vet. What do the reviews on their website, social media channels, or search engine business profile say?
Read the testimonials and reviews of the practice and staff: Are the vets attentive, punctual, knowledgeable, and compassionate? Do they truly care about their animal patients? What about their office staff – are they kind and responsive?
While many practices may have one or two unhappy clients, you can consider it a red flag if you see consistent complaints that show a pattern of bad service, unprofessionalism, etc. Also, check for replies on the reviews – is the practice responsive to concerns, and are questions or concerns resolved in a timely manner?
An active presence online and on social media could mean the vets and staff will be similarly responsive in person.
See The Facility In Person
Some key indicators to pay attention to outdoors and indoors are:
Some practical considerations to keep in mind are location, parking, and accessibility are probably at the top of your mind. Can you get to the office easily? Are the premises clean and accessible? Is parking safe and convenient?
Visit the office during the times at which you’ll most likely be scheduling appointments; this is the only way you will be able to find out if surprise factors such as traffic congestion or scarce parking near the office constitute a deal-breaker.
It's likely that you'll be spending a fair amount of time in the waiting area of your veterinarian's office, so check to see if the waiting area is clean and comfortable enough for seating and if the general environment is relaxed.
Don’t forget to ask about general wait times, as a full waiting room may indicate multiple veterinary emergencies that day, not necessarily routinely long waits.
There are some questions that you might want to ask at your visit:
"What are your hours?"
Think about your daily or weekly schedule. Your cat or dog will require preventive care, vaccinations, and regularly scheduled exams, so it’s important that the practice’s hours are in line with your schedule.
"What equipment do you have onsite?"
This is especially important Does the veterinary practice have advanced specialized equipment on site, such as diagnostic imaging technology?
A veterinary facility equipped with a full-service veterinary laboratory allows your veterinary team to carry out a variety of tests, get fast results, provide an accurate diagnosis and start treatment as quickly as possible.
"Are tests or treatments outsourced?"
What tests do they have available at the hospital or office, and which ones are outsourced to other facilities? This might be important to know in case your pet needs testing or treatments on an ongoing basis.
"Which services do you offer?"
As your cat or dog reaches developmental milestones, comprehensive services will be increasingly important. From wellness exams, vaccinations, and preventive care to dentistry, surgery, and geriatric care, most full-service veterinary hospitals offer all the services your furry friend will need as they continue to grow.
Check Training & Qualifications
This is where one could compare choosing the right veterinarian to selecting any other service. Qualifications are important; details such as whether the vet you’re considering is licensed to work in the U.S. and in their state; if members of the vet team deal with the animal patients (e.g. registered vet technicians), are they licensed?
Board-certified specialists are a bonus. These professionals have completed extra years of school and intensive training in a specialty area (such as surgery, orthopedics, dermatology, etc.) of veterinary medicine to become board-certified.
Chat With Your Veterinarian
The communication style and bedside manner of your vet are vital parts of developing a comfortable, honest, and relaxed relationship with the people who will be caring for your special pet's medical needs. Compassion, punctuality, and professionalism are key, whether you’re coming in for a routine exam or finding out your pet might require a surgical procedure.
What is the office billing like? When price shopping, remember that one vet’s price for a given treatment may include post-op painkiller medication, anesthesia, and monitoring, while another vet’s total may not include these necessities. Asking for a full total for procedures is a good way to narrow down your choices, as each animal hospital is unique and will have varying overhead costs.
Changing From Your Current Vet?
Many patients leave a veterinary clinic due to a move to another area, issues with communication, or problems with service. If this is the situation for you, consider contacting them, writing an email or a letter to the staff at your current clinic. Though this might feel a bit awkward, it could also make them aware of issues (if they aren't already), start a dialog and give the veterinarian an opportunity to respond. If you can’t come to a resolution, many vets will be happy to refer you elsewhere.
If you are searching for a new vet for your cat or dog, now is a good time to meet the staff and veterinarians at West Gate Veterinary Hospital.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.