When selecting a veterinarian, you’re doing more than searching for a medical expert. You’re looking for someone to meet your needs and your pets’ needs, which is a doctor who has people as well as animal skills. The worst time to look for a vet is when you really need one, so plan ahead and choose wisely.
Veterinarians often work with a team of professionals, including technicians and qualified support staff, so you’ll likely want to evaluate the entire vet team’s competence and caring. You should also consider the hospital’s location and fees when making a decision.
In some cases, driving a few extra miles or paying a bit more may be worth it to get the care you want for your pet. The best way to find a good veterinarian is to ask people who have the same approach to pet care as you. Start with a recommendation from a friend, co-workers, neighbour, animal shelter worker, dog trainer, groomer, boarding kennel employee or pet sitter. If you consider your pet as a member of your family, ask the people who think the same way.
If you’re looking for a specialist, ask about board certification. This means the vet has studied an additional two to four years in the speciality area and passed a rigorous exam.
Once you’ve narrowed your search, schedule a visit to meet the staff, tour the facility and learn about the hospital’s philosophy and policies. This is a reasonable request that any veterinarian should be glad to oblige and don’t forget to write down your questions ahead of time.
Keeping your pet healthy is very important. But your veterinarian can’t do it alone. It’s up to you to work in partnership with your veterinarian to give your pet the care he/she needs to live a healthier, longer and happy life.
Written by McLean Animal Hospital