How to Find a Good Vet
If you want to adopt a dog or if you’re moving, finding a good vet in your area is essential. Today, we’re going to go over everything you should look out for so you know how to find a good vet for your pup.
The important thing is to be picky. You should apply the same level of care and research that you would when you’re choosing your own doctor or physician. That means looking at reviews, considering the location and office hours, and making sure you and your dog like the staff. If something doesn’t feel right, then trust your gut. Your goal should be to find the veterinarian who you believe can best meet your pet’s medical needs and with whom you feel comfortable in establishing a long-term veterinarian-client-patient relationship.
Your dog’s relationship with them should be just as important as yours too. While we know that it’s a hard ask for your dog to love the vet, they should at least feel comfortable in the waiting room and treated respectfully by all of the staff in the vet clinic. If your dog is happy, then the experience will likely be much better for both of you.
So, how do you find a good vet?
If you have friends, family, or neighbors with pets, ask them who they go to before you start looking at online reviews.
You can also talk to breeders or breed club members as they’ll likely know a few vets in your area. If you don’t know any breeders, talk with your dog’s groomer, their trainer, or their old shelter to see if they have any recommendations.
Finally, ask your current vet! If you are relocating to another city or state, your current vet may be able to recommend a practice. Many times they have colleagues in other towns whose practice policies and services are similar to theirs. They should also provide copies of your pet’s medical records to the new practice to ensure your pet’s medical history is available to the new staff.
Visit Local Veterinary Hospitals Without Your Dog
You don’t need to have an animal to go to a vet clinic. Call them and tell them that you’re looking for a new vet and would like a tour of a facility before you decide. Many of them will be accommodating and will get something on the books for you.
Once there, look around and see if the office is clean and organized. Talk with whomever is walking you through the office about their services, what types of animals they serve (to learn if your dog will be comfortable with the noise and other pets), ask about emergency services, and if they accept pet insurance as well. Some vets also offer in-house digital x-rays, grooming, and dental services too.
Be sure to ask about special services as well, such as general surgery, neutering/spaying, ultrasounds, chemotherapy, and other concerns you may have. The more you know before you book your first appointment, the more comfortable you will be with your vet.
Find Out If Their Philosophies Match Yours
Just like doctors, every vet has their own set of philosophies and morals. For example, some will offer at-home euthanization and some will not.
Other questions to consider are if they emphasize preventative care, if they can accommodate children during vet visits, and if they’re willing to perform specific services that your dog needs or may need in the future.
Consider the Location
While location may be everything in real estate, the closest vet clinic may not be the best one for you. When it comes to emergency 24/7 care, you’re going to want to find a close and convenient pet hospital, however this may not be the case for routine checkups.
Ask yourself if a 5-minute drive is better than a 10-minute drive, especially if you like the further clinic better than the closer one.
Ask About Fees
Ask about the cost of procedures before you book them. For example, ask them what they charge for a rabies vaccine and if there are any additional fees that will appear on the bill.
Also ask if payment plans or financial assistance options are available if you need them. If your pet is insured, ask if they accept your insurance as well.
Check on Professional Accreditations and Experience
This should go without saying, but you should always check if your vet and their technicians are licensed and how long they have been practicing. Most of the time, this information is readily available online.
Review Their Reviews
You should always research the vet online as well to see what others are saying about them. Keep in mind, though, that not all reviews will be real or justified. This is why referrals are so important — if your neighbor loves a certain vet, but another customer left a 1-star review, you should trust your neighbor’s opinion more.
That’s all! We hope you find a good vet that you and your dog love.