When we were choosing a veterinarian, we found someone who had great recommendations. Our veterinarian’s practice has grown and there are two vets and their entire staff who love our animals almost as much as we do. Choosing a veterinarian is such an important step when adopting a dog, so I’m excited to share this guest post with you.
Choosing a veterinarian should be one of the first things you do after bringing a new animal home. A veterinarian’s role is not only to treat problems as they arise, but also to assist you in maintaining your pet’s health and in preventing problems from occurring. For many pet owners, choosing a veterinarian is a complicated, stressful, and confusing process. Fortunately, it does not need to be difficult if you do a little research before beginning your search.
Ask Around for Recommendations:
Often, the easiest place to start your search for a new veterinarian is in your social circle. Ask family and friends for recommendations, and listen carefully to everything they say about their vet. If you are new in town and have no friends or family to consult, ask around at work, at the gym, or even at the grocery store. Additionally, you can contact the American Animal Hospital Association or the American Veterinary Medical Association for a referral to a qualified veterinarian in your local area.
Scheduling the First Appointment:
Once you’ve chosen a veterinarian (or two), schedule a meeting without your pet. This enables you time to speak with the veterinarian and office staff, get a feel for the cleanliness and organization of the office, and chat up other pet owners in the waiting room. Write up a list of questions before the appointment to make sure you forget nothing important during your visit. If possible, schedule your appointment first thing in the morning or right after lunch.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions:
Consider the first appointment an interview, and no matter what happens it is important to remember that the veterinarian you choose will be working for you and your pet, not the other way around.
During your tour of the office, find out how many vets are on staff, verify that the equipment is clean, working, and up-to-date, and confirm that the veterinary practice is accredited by the AAHA. Also, ask about the vet’s policies pertaining to specialist referrals, anesthesia, pain management, end of life care, and overnight monitoring.
If It Does Not Work Out:
If you don’t hit it off with the veterinarian after the interview and tour of the office, do not hesitate to keep looking. You are under no obligation to give the vet another try. Moreover, you are free to look for a new veterinarian even if you’ve been seeing your current vet for weeks, months, or years. If your veterinarian is not meeting your needs or the needs of your pet, it is in everyone’s best interest to reconsider the relationship.
Choosing the right veterinarian for your pet should be done with consideration and caution. You need open communication and trust to establish and build a beneficial relationship for everyone involved. A positive relationship with your vet ensures optimum health care and quality of life for your pet.