10 Tips for Finding a Perfect Vet for Your Dog
Whether you have just adopted a new dog, moved to a new place, or are just unhappy with your current vet, we have prepared some valuable tips that will help you find a perfect vet for your dog. We have all been in that awkward position, where we had to switch to a new vet. It is important to like the personality and the caring nature of the vet you pick for your dog, because your dog needs to be comfortable when going to visits.
Perhaps the most important thing you need to look for in a vet is quality care. The health of your pet is what is most important here, and your personal feelings can be considered a plus. So, here are a couple things you need to consider where you are in search for a perfect vet for your pet.
Ask People for Recommendations
Perhaps the best place to start is to ask your family, friends, co-workers, or neighbors. Ask them which vet they go to and what is it that they like about them. Word of mouth and the experience of other people in your area are of both of great value, especially if you seek recommendations from dog owners who want the same level of care like you would want for your dog. Places that are also helpful when you are looking for recommendations are local shelters, trainers and groomers.
After you have gathered some recommendations, the next thing you can do is check online and gather additional information about the services these vets offer and the staff that works with them. You can also read online reviews, but keep in mind that reviews can be subjective, because clients who have had a bad experience are usually more motivated to write a bad review. So, keep your mind open and use reviews to spot trends, or as help when formulating your questions when you go out on tour.
Check the Vet’s Qualifications
Before you even set up an appointment, you need to double check the vet’s qualifications. You need to make sure that they have a license and see if there are any registered complaints against them. You can go to the veterinary medical board’s website. Look for any additional certifications or qualifications that are beyond what your state requires. Or, you can simply search for AVVP or American Board Of Veterinary Practitioners for any additional certifications.
It is very important that the vet has great knowledge about the advances in veterinary medicine. You have to be sure that your pet will receive the best care possible. Do not forget to ask about any additional experience and education in alternative or holistic medicine, if that is something you deem important.
Evaluate the Staff
The office staff and all vet techs need to be welcoming and friendly both to you and to your dog. They all need to have a caring and positive attitude. In larger hospitals or offices, your pet will spend more time with the staff then the vet itself, so it is important that the staff is competent and has good communication skills. Accurate instructions and information should be given to you and you should also receive all medical related information together with the bill, which will outline any procedure that has been performed, so that you can keep a record of your dog’s health.
Look For a Vet with a Personality
Finding a vet that is medically qualified is very important, but it is also important that your new vet has a good personality. They should be good when communicating. They should also demonstrate a compassionate attitude regarding your pet.
It is very important that your dog is not rushed through the appointments. A proper vet will their time and listen to all of your questions. They’ll do their best to try and answer any of your concerns. During each visit, they should perform a thorough exam and relate with your pet in a calm, positive and caring manner.
Check If the Hospital Is AAHA Accredited
The hospital itself should be accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association, because that makes a huge difference in the quality of the attention and care both you and your pet will receive. AAHA facilities are the ones that hold to a higher standard and are regularly evaluated for approximately 900 standards of veterinary care. So, visit the AAHA website to learn more, and use it to search for vets that are accredited in the area you are in.
Find a Vet That Is Close To You
The location is not exactly the most important thing, but if you manage to find a good vet that is close to your home, you will have a win-win situation, because that would be ideal in case your dog experiences an accident or a medical emergency. Perhaps your dog can have an allergic reaction to a vaccine, and you will be so thankful that your vet is just minutes away, so that you can rush back to their office and solve the problem. But, not everyone is that fortunate to have a good vet that is close to where they live. Nevertheless, this is something you can consider when looking through your options.
Organize a Tour
You should stop by the vet’s office to introduce yourself and ask if there is a chance that you can get a tour. A tour will provide you with a good first impression and you will see how friendly the staff is. You’ll get a general feel of the facility.
Keep in mind that some vets may charge you if you want to have a one on one chat, but most of them are happy to provide their potential clients with a tour and talk about their services.
Their office should be well organized and clean. The facility needs to include a range of adequate lab and medical equipment, to diagnose and treat common conditions, without referring you to somewhere else. If the facility is filled with modern equipment, this means that they want to invest in new technology to take better care of their animal patients. Another thing you need to check is the cleanliness and condition of the onsite kennels, to make sure that dogs and cats are kept in separate areas.
Check for Which Services the Vet Offers
You should check if the vet can perform some of the common diagnostic procedures in their office, like blood work, x-rays, ultrasound, endoscopy, EKG and others. Also, see if they are using good veterinary software. You can check that according to the rankings of the best veterinary software.
Find out what is their philosophy on pain management is and are they offering after hours emergency services. If the vet can handle a majority of these services instead of referring you to another specialist, it would be less expensive and more convenient for you.
See If the Vet Fits Into Your Budget
If you want to find a perfect vet who will also fit into your budget, you might do some additional research, but it really is worth the trouble, because vet bills these days are very expensive. If you have pet insurance, you need to make sure that the vet accepts your insurance plan. Most vets will be upfront with the cost of the treatment, especially if your dog needs a surgery or extensive treatment.
They will also explain everything they feel is necessary regarding some optional treatment options, and even offer discounts for families that have several pets. Most vets today offer financing through different programs, which can be considered a valuable option if you are facing a large and unexpected expense from an illness or accident. And, keep in mind, if the vet is pushing supplements, food, or other products, chances are that they are more concerned about their profit margin than your dog’s health.
Finding a perfect vet for your dog can be a hard and confusing decision, and the one thing that is often overlooked is institution itself. If you are having problems with your vet, or you think that they are not providing the best care, do not be afraid to talk to them. Provide them with a chance to hear your issues and try to address them. If you are not able to resolve them, or if you think the relationship is not just right, always trust your instincts and start looking for a new vet. Once you have managed to find a perfect vet for your dog, make sure to do everything in your power to make every pet visit productive.