Approximately 67 percent of households in the U.S. own at least one pet.
If you’re part of this group, it’s imperative that you take your pet to the vet on a regular basis for check-ups and preventative care. Establishing care with one specific vet will make it easier for you to know who to call if your pet ever gets sick or needs emergency treatment, too.
Not sure how to choose a veterinarian your pet will like? Read on for the helpful tips to keep in mind.
Many people make the mistake of waiting to find a vet until their pet is already sick.
If you wait until an emergency to choose a vet, you’ll find the process to be a lot more stressful. You also might find yourself settling for a subpar vet just because you need someone to help you with your pet.
To avoid finding yourself in this situation, establish care with a vet as soon as you bring your pet home. That way, you can take your time and ensure you’re making the right decision without the weight of a sick pet on your shoulders.
Know Your Pet’s Needs
Think carefully about your pet’s specific healthcare needs, too. What kind of vaccinations do they need, for example? Do they have any health problems that need to be managed?
Consider certain health risks your pet may have as well. For example, small dogs tend to have more dental problems than larger dogs and might need extra dental care to prevent tooth decay and loss.
The more you know about the type of care your pet requires, the easier it’ll be for you to make sure you get it. It also pays to be an informed pet owner, and you won’t have to deal with as many unpleasant surprises throughout your pet’s life if you take the time to do your research now.
Ask for Recommendations
If you have friends or family members who have pet owners, reach out to them and ask if they have any recommendations as far as vets go. This can help you narrow down your search quite a bit.
Try to ask for recommendations from people who have the same pet as you, or at least a similar one (e.g., they might not have the same species of bird, but you’re both bird owners).
Find out, specifically, what they like or don’t like about their vet, too. This will make it easier for you to determine if they’ll be a good fit for you and your pet.
It helps to read online reviews for different veterinarians, too. This is especially true if you don’t have any pet owner friends or family members you can call on for advice.
Most of the time, if a veterinary clinic is worth visiting, they’ll have positive online ratings on third-party review sites. Branch out beyond the specific vet’s website and see what people have to say on platforms like Yelp or Google Reviews.
When looking at reviews, pay attention to people’s reasoning for leaving a specific review. Don’t limit yourself to looking at the star or numerical ratings by themselves. Find out why people did or didn’t like a particular vet so you can figure out whether or not they’ll work for you.
Schedule an Appointment
It always helps to do some research before making a decision. Eventually, though, you’ll have to choose a veterinarian if you want to learn more about them.
Reach out to a vet or two that seems promising and schedule an appointment or ask to take a tour of their office. This will give you a chance to get to know them, see what the office looks like, and make a more informed decision about whether or not it’s a good option for you and your pet.
When you’re touring a vet’s office, pay special attention to the cleanliness of the facility and the level of customer service you receive. Are the receptionists polite and professional? Do they offer assistance right away, or do you have to wait around for several minutes before being helped?
Ask the Right Questions
Be sure to ask the right questions during your tour or appointment, too. The following are some key questions you’ll want to cover:
- How long has the vet been practising?
- Where did they go to school?
- Do they specialize in any specific type of pet care?
- Do they have emergency services available on-site?
- If they don’t, where do they send pets for emergency appointments?
- Do they refer pets to specialists when necessary?
- What kind of diagnostic tests do they perform?
- How do they monitor overnight patients?
- What kind of payments do they accept?
- Do they offer payment plans?
- Do they accept pet insurance?
- Do they support local animal welfare groups?
This vet clinic also recommends finding out whether or not a vet offers additional services like grooming or pet training. Many offices do, and having all your pet’s needs taken care of in one place can help you save time and money.
Don’t Be Afraid to Switch
Finally, remember that you don’t have to commit to a specific vet for life.
If you decide after an appointment or two that you don’t like a particular vet, you’re allowed to switch to someone else (either at the same clinic or a different one altogether).
You and your pet’s comfort are the most important things. Don’t worry about hurting a vet’s feelings if they’re not a good fit.
Choose a Veterinarian Your Pet Will Like Today
As you can see, there’s plenty to consider when looking for a veterinarian that will take good care of your pet and that your pet will enjoy (or at least tolerate) seeing.
You may have felt overwhelmed at first at the idea of choosing a vet. Hopefully, though, you now have more insight into what matters most when finding the right person to treat your pet.
Need more information on pet care? Check out our other pet-related resources today.