Choosing the right vet for your pet
- How to choose a vet for your pet
So, you’ve just adopted your puppy or kitten, and are ready to bring them home! Aside from food, bedding, and toys, you can’t help but shake the feeling that you’re forgetting something. Upon looking at your new furry friend, you remember: it’s time to choose a veterinarian.
Choosing the right veterinarian that matches your values when it comes to pet care is essential. After all, it’s one of the most important decisions you’ll make for the new addition to your family. Not only is it important to find a veterinarian that your pet feels comfortable with, but one you feel comfortable with as well.
When it comes to how to choose a veterinarian, it’s important to consider why a good vet is important, when you should choose one, where to find one, and ultimately what makes it a good fit.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to find a veterinarian for your new best friend.
Why a good vet is important
While it’s important to know how to choose a veterinarian, it’s just as important to know why a good vet is so important. Veterinarians serve a multitude of purposes in the animal care world. Not only are they who you should call in the event your pet gets sick or injured, but they provide necessary preventative care, such as vaccinations and heartworm prevention.
Your veterinarian is there to help prepare you for the road ahead as a pet owner. They can provide actionable recommendations, such as advice on grooming, training, and nutrition. They help with your pet’s general wellness and any potential illness that may arise. Veterinarians also help senior pets get the most out of their older years!
Veterinarians help to protect people and society from zoonotic diseases. They help detect them, prevent them, and treat them. Without veterinarians, zoonotic diseases would be much more prevalent.
Your veterinarian should also be considered your point of contact when it comes to microchipping services and lost pet prevention. After all, microchipped dogs are over twice as likely, and microchipped cats are over 20 times more likely to be reunited with their owners, compared to unchipped animals.
When should you choose a vet?
Having a veterinarian at the ready is an integral part of being a responsible pet owner. It’s important to choose a vet as soon as you bring a new pet home or move to a new city. In the event of an emergency, your vet can treat your pet immediately instead of having to onboard you as a new client.
It’s a common mistake to wait until illness or injury when it comes to how to choose a vet. However, wait times can be long if you don’t have an established relationship with a veterinarian. Since vets focus on preventative care, choosing one sooner than later can help save your pet’s life and prevent unnecessary illness or injury.
Where to find the right vet
Whether you just brought a new pet home or are relocating to a new city, your first step when searching for the right veterinarian should be to ask your friends, family, or coworkers. If someone you know or love is a responsible, diligent pet owner, then they should be the first person you ask when it comes to finding a veterinarian.
If you don’t know anyone who has a good veterinarian, then it’s time to research. Searching “veterinarian near me” may turn up a lot of results, but what exactly should you look for? When it comes to how to pick a vet, research is one of the best ways.
Here are some things you should look for when researching a veterinarian:
- Reviews. Reviews are considered social proof, but they should also be taken with a grain of salt. Sometimes, people will post negative reviews as an emotional response to receiving bad news about their pet. When combing through reviews, look for reviews from pet owners who match your values about pet care, such as pricing or the availability of emergency services. This can help you make an informed decision.
- Accreditation. Licensed personnel, such as registered veterinary technicians and board-certified veterinarians, should be one of the first things you search for. If you’re confused about where to find accreditation, call the office you’re interested in and ask about their credentials. Certain accreditations may include AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) accreditation, Fear Free accreditation, or Cat Friendly accreditation.
- Awards. Usually, a great veterinarian will have received some sort of award, either locally or academically. These will generally be available to see via their website.
- Website. A website is a hallmark of a legitimate business. It’s also a quick way to source an illegitimate business. Browse clinic values, philosophies, and services to see if your values align. Bonus points if they provide a list of services or photos!
Making sure it’s the right fit
So, now that you’ve done your research, you might be wondering how you can be sure you’ve picked the right veterinarian. It’s understandable, considering you love your pet and want the best for them, always. This is where asking questions comes in. The veterinarian you choose should be well-equipped with knowledge and ready to answer any questions you may have.
Some questions may look like this:
- Are you more holistic when it comes to preventative, maintenance, or emergency care?
- Do you have more experience with certain breeds of animals than others?
- How do you minimize the spread of infectious diseases?
- How many doctors and veterinary technicians do you have on staff?
- Do you accept walk-ins in the event of an emergency?
- Do you provide surgeries? If so, what kinds? Are there any surgeries you don’t offer?
- Do you have a readily available pharmacy on-site?
- What type of payment do you accept?
- Do you accept payment plans?
- Do you accept insurance?
- What’s the standard cost for a routine visit?
After you ask questions, you should always compare, and contrast veterinarians based on their answers. Additionally, you should make sure their answers are in alignment with your philosophies on pet care and wellness.
Once you make a decision, begin to ask about the next steps and form a relationship. This can look like a routine visit and arriving at your appointment early to ask the staff additional questions about pricing or services.
How do I choose the right vet for my dog?
When searching for the right vet for your dog, it’s best to research thoroughly and rely on word of mouth from fellow dog lovers.
How do I choose the right vet for my cat?
Some cats have a hard time at the vet and experience anxiety, so asking a potential vet about how they help cats relax is essential. This can look like specific accommodations. If you’re searching for a vet that’s great with cats, be sure to ask your friends and family about potential recommendations.
What should I look for when choosing a veterinarian?
When choosing a veterinarian, it’s best to look for credentials and glowing reviews. This can help you determine which veterinarian is best in your area.
How do I find the best veterinarian?
Finding the best veterinarian depends on connections and research. Ask your friends, loved ones, and coworkers while doing your own research to find the best veterinarian near you.
What should I look for in a veterinary clinic?
A good veterinary clinic will be very aware of what they do, why they do it, and who they serve. Ask yourself what’s most important to you and your pet in a veterinary clinic. Then, ask what kind of services the prospective veterinary office offers.
Choosing the right veterinarian is a lifelong investment for your pets. Without one, there’s no way to ensure they get the proper care. After choosing the right vet, provide them with your pet’s information and any existing medical records you may have. At your first visit, it’s also important to make sure your pet is protected with pet insurance.
With our Lifetime Protection Membership, you receive discounted dog walking and pet sitting services and lost pet specialists who are available year-round. This membership also includes whiskerDocs, a service that connects you with veterinary professionals 24/7 to answer any burning questions you may have. At 24Petwatch, we help families keep their pets happy, healthy, and at home.
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