Your choice of veterinarian should be made in a similar fashion to selecting a family doctor. Your dog or cat is really part of the family! It’s important to do your research so that you can make an informed choice.
It is also essential to find a veterinary clinic before your pet becomes sick. Not only should your pet be seen regularly for routine checkups but also you don’t want to be picking your veterinarian in a panic situation. It is much better to do your research and make your selection while your pet is healthy.
Here are some factors to consider when selecting a good veterinarian for your dog or cat:
Areas of Expertise and Practice
Many veterinary hospitals are general practitioners who can handle many types of animal patients. However, it’s ideal to choose a veterinarian who works mainly with the type of pet that you have. Check out their website.
That way, you can be assured that your dog or cat will be getting the best treatment possible.
Nothing Better Than a Referral
When choosing your veterinarian, references from friends and family can be very helpful. Ask them what their experience has been with the level professionalism and treatment that they received.
They might not be experts but if they’re happy with their vet there’s a good chance you and your pet will be too.
Also, if you are moving to a new place, you can ask for references from your current veterinarian to see if he or she can recommend good candidates in the area you are moving to.
Online Reviews Can Be Helpful
Online reviews can be found for just about anyone or anything and veterinarians are no exception. Reviews can help you make a decision or at least narrow down your choices.
Read through many reviews, not just the top two or three, and with a critical eye. Try to get a general sense of the clinic’s reputation from the reviews, rather than just basing your decision on a single good or bad review.
Also check the clinic’s website for testimonials.
Interaction with Your Dog or Cat
Once you have selected a possible clinic, schedule an appointment for a routine checkup or a needed vaccination – then see how the veterinarian handles your put and keeps you informed about the visit and future needs.
The doctor and assistants should be calm but assertive and your dog or cat should feel comfortable around them.
Hours and Location
A clinic that is open extended hours, weekends and holidays will make it easier for you to find a good time to bring your pet in that works with your schedule. This also means that if there is ever an emergency there is a better chance that your regular clinic, that is familiar with your pet’s health care history, will be open to assist you.
A good veterinarian considers pet owners as partners in taking care of their cats or dogs. Offering tips on proper pet care during visits and through blogs and newsletters, is a good way to educate you in keeping your dog or cat happy and healthy.
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Image credit: Flickr: kitty.green66