Posted by Lora Shaw on March 24, 2015
You may not have given birth to him, but he is still your baby. Yes, we are talking about your pet! Whether you own a dog, cat, bird, rabbit, or hamster, they are a part of your life and your family, and you want to make sure that they are taken care of as such. Just like a mother searches for the right pediatrician for her baby, it is also important that, as a pet parent, you do the same when searching for a veterinarian.
Searching for the right veterinarian can take some time. You want to make sure that you discuss what qualities/characteristics are important to you and your family when making the decision on choosing someone to care for the family pet
There are several factors that you should take into consideration when searching to find the best vet for your pet.
Choose a vet that is located near your home. Just like a mother with an infant, you want to be sure that the veterinarian is close-by in case an emergency arises. Ask yourself – Do they have reasonable hours? Are they open when it is convenient for you? Also, take recommendations from your neighbors, friends, and family members. If they have had a good experience, it is most likely that you will too!
Once you have chosen the perfect veterinarian,, it is time to research the office and the vet. Verify that the clinic has the necessary credentials, especially AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) approval. If your veterinarian has this membership, you can be sure that you will get an excellent level of medical care for your pet.
Arrange to meet with the veterinarian without your pet. It is extremely important to observe the facility and the how the staff members treat the other patients and their pets. If possible, ask to be taken on tour of the facility. When you go to meet your veterinarian, take a list of questions you may have (i.e., accommodations for larger pets, certain pets they do or do not treat, etc.) The more informative your veterinarian and their staff members are to you, the more accommodating they will be for your pet as well.
You do not want to be left in the dark when it comes to the health status of your pet. Therefore, establishing excellent communication between yourself and your vet will ensure that you are consistently informed and aware of every aspect of your pet’s health.
Does your veterinarian have up-to-date and necessary equipment to conduct procedures? Are there properly sized cages for your dog if they would have to stay overnight? Does the facility contain the proper surgical equipment to treat your pet? These are all questions you need answered before deciding on a veterinarian for your pet, especially if you own a larger pet. The proper equipment and facility is just as important to consider throughout your decision process.
Observe the staff and veterinarian when taking your visit. Do they have a genuine compassion for the animals they are treating as well as the pet parents? Do they seem knowledgeable and sensitive to animals? If the answer to these questions is yes, you can ensure the same treatment for you and your pet. It is okay to ask your future vet for credentials as well as the length of time he/she has been practicing or in the field.
Finding a trustworthy veterinarian is the most important thing you can do for your furry friend. Knowing that you can count on him/her when your pet is sick is an imperative aspect of a positive experience.. It is just as important as finding a doctor for your child. If you know the traits and qualities to look for, you can be sure that when you do find the right vet for your pet, it will be someone that you can rely on for years to come.
About the author
Lora Shaw is currently the Vice President of Operations at Pet Palace.