Looking for a veterinarian?
Whether you are moving to a new city or adopting your first pet, finding a good vet can sound like a grueling task, but it doesn’t have to be! Start by doing your research. Visit the clinic’s website, ask recommendations and talk to your friends and neighbors who love their pets just as much as you do.
First step: visit and meet with the clinics/vets. Don’t be afraid to shop around and ask questions, the vets will appreciate how much you care about your pet. Keep trying different clinics until you find a place where you feel comfortable and valued. When visiting with a vet, make sure to inspect the space. Is the clinic clean and well equipped? Don’t let a busy waiting room turn you away. It could very well mean that you are at a popular and highly respected, hard-working clinic.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Do they require appointments?
- Do the fees fit my budget?
- How many vets are at the practice?
- Can I schedule a visit with a specific vet?
- Do the office hours fit with my schedule?
- Do I like how the vet interacts with my pet?
- Do the vet’s ethics and philosophies match my values?
- Is the clinic accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA)? Check here.
- How quickly can I get to the clinic in the case of an emergency? Do they have 24-hour emergency care?
- Are the vets at this clinic well respected by the community?
- Do you feel comfortable asking the vet any questions you may have?
- What is the clinic’s emergency procedures? During hours and after hours.
- Does the clinic have a network of specialists to recommend?
- How do you feel about the staff?
- Does the clinic accept your pet insurance? Do they accept direct claims?
- Do they offer anything else besides medical care? Training, grooming, etc.
- Check for any illnesses or problems associated with your breed. Does the vet have experience with this?
- Ask to take a tour – are they proud to show you the clinic?
- Is the clinic well equipped with technology?
- Communication is key – is the vet willing to talk via the phone or answer any questions you may have?
- How quickly can you usually make an appointment?
- Do they accept walk-ins?
- What is the clinic’s proximity to your home?
In the end, you want a vet that is highly trained but also friendly to you and your pet. Seek out what qualities you find most important in a veterinarian. In the end, you may have to make some compromises, but by asking yourself and your potential vet these questions, you’ll be sure to find a vet that is best for your pet’s safety and health.