Choosing the Right Veterinarian for Your Pet
Pets are are such wonderful companions. They’re special creatures with an ability to make us feel good and fall head over heels in love with them. And that’s exactly why choosing the right veterinarian for your pet, an integral member of your family, is so very important.
When you decide to bring someone into the family, regardless of the new family member’s species, you become responsible for their well-being. That includes their emotional health, nutrition, and medical attention.
Basic Pet Care
There are certain conditions that are basic. The first thing to consider when getting a pet is whether they get along with families well. Another consideration is how big your home is.
Also think about how much time your new pet will require of you and your family, and whether you can meet that need. After you’ve made your final decision, your next step will be choosing the right veterinarian for your pet.
Choosing the Right Veterinarian for Your Pet
The professional who will be taking care of your new pet’s must meet certain requirements.
A Family Decision
A pet is usually an important matter to the whole family. A good way of choosing the right veterinarian for your pet is to sit down and talk with your family about the criteria the doctor and the clinic must meet. Together, create a list of questions and answers so you can all make the best choice:
- What services does the veterinarian offer, other than basic care?
- Does the veterinarian offer 24-hour emergency services?
- Does the veterinarian handle his or her own phone calls, or do all communications go through the clinic?
- How much do consults, vaccines and other services cost?
Choosing a Veterinarian Before you Have an Emergency
Emergencies can lead to hasty decisions, so it’s best to pick the right veterinarian for your pet when you’re not under such pressure. This way you won’t wonder whether you’re making the right decision; you’ll have time to think it through.
Communication is Key
Pet owners need professional help because they don’t have the knowledge or preparation to care for all of their pet’s needs themselves. Hence the importance of your vet being able to express him or herself patiently, and in lay terms.
How the Veterinarian Treats Animals
Watch how the veterinarian treats and deals with animals. Your pet’s vet needs to be patient, affectionate and attentive.
Research the Veterinarian’s Clinic
Choosing the right veterinarian for your pet means you have to think about more than the vet’s individual characteristics. The facilities where he or she works are also a very important factor, and there are a few basic aspects you should take into consideration:
The clinic should be close to your home. This isn’t just for convenience; it could save your pet’s life.
The clinic’s office hours should work with your schedule. Having the option of 24-hour service is also important when it comes to serious emergencies.
First of all, the veterinary clinic must be clean. It should also have plenty of space for the animals, an x-ray machine, and equipment to take blood pressure and perform laboratory tests.
Pet owners should request a tour of the facilities to verify that what the clinic says they can offer is true. It will give you a chance to see if things are sanitary and well-maintained.
Some veterinary clinics offer services such as grooming, training, dentistry and day care. It’s always much more convenient to have all of these services in one place. Plus, you’ll already know the people who run it, and they already know you and your pet.
Referrals and Recommendations
Referrals and recommendations are guarantees of sorts. People ask for referrals and recommendations for their own doctors, after all, so do the same for your pet.
If your veterinarian is moving, retiring, or otherwise discontinuing his or her practice for any reason, you can ask them to recommend another veterinarian.
Reasons for Alarm
Keep an eye out for these red flags in potential veterinarians:
- Punishment. Professionals do not use punishment to correct animals.
- Lack of cleanliness in the clinic.
- Unsafely handling animals.
- Lack of communication.
- Prescription of medications without prior tests or examinations.
If you see any of these behaviors, visit other clinics and change veterinarians as soon as possible. Your ultimate goal is choosing the right veterinarian for your pet and keeping them happy and healthy.