By Paul Horowitz
Your pet’s veterinarian is second best friend, next to you, and an important partner in protecting their well being. This article will help you to
• Choose the perfect vet for you and your pet.
• Evaluate your current level of veterinarian care.
Evaluating veterinary services is an important part of every pet owner’s role. Whether you are a brand new pet-parent or a seasoned owner, take the time to carefully evaluate your vet, both before making a selection and on an ongoing basis.
Remember, every pet is unique, every owner is unique, and every pet-owner relationship is special. It is important that you evaluate your vet on a pet-by-pet basis; a vet who was perfect for your previous pet, may not meet the needs for the current one. Similarly, owners of multiple pets may find that separate vets are in order to keep the entire brood healthy and happy.
Luckily, there are plenty of veterinary services to choose from; the right one for you is just waiting to be found. At the end of this article you will find a checklist for making your decision.
Qualities of Your Ideal Vet
The ideal vet for you and your pet is someone who will become your partner in caring for your little friend. Your vet should be friendly, compassionate, and caring. They should be confident in their treatment of your pet, willing to answer all of your questions, and exhibit a genuine love of animals.
Be sure to ask your vet about their education, their specializations, and whether they have any pets of their own.
Emergency services are not offered by every vet and not necessarily a top priority for every pet owner, but when an emergency does occur it can be nice to see a familiar face. If your vet does not provide emergency services, ask about what you should do in the event of an emergency and how you can best prepare yourself and your pet.
1) Collect a List of Possibilities
• Ask friends for referrals. Be sure to ask what they like about their vet and what they wish they could change.
• Ask at your local pet store. Pet store owners and employees are an un-tapped resource, but they talk to pet owners all day and often have several of their own.
• Look through the phone book.
2) Make an Initial Call
• Did they answer the phone quickly?
• Were you placed on hold and, if so, were you attended to in a reasonable amount of time?
• Was the receptionist friendly and informative?
• What are their general rates for a check-up?
• How many vets are on staff? Will you be assigned to a specific one?
• Do they offer evening and weekend hours?
• Do they provide emergency services?
After this first call you should be able to narrow your list significantly.
3) Visit on Your Own
• Schedule a visit or drop by to see the office and meet the staff.
• Do you find the waiting area comfortable?
• Is the staff friendly and helpful?
• Does the overall image evoke your trust?
• Is the location accessible for you and your pet?
After this visit you should be able to narrow your list down to two or three clinics.
4) Visit with your pet
• How comfortable is your pet in the office?
• Are there many other animals in the waiting room?
• Do they have separate waiting rooms for cats, dogs, and small pets?
• Does the staff respond well to your pet, and does your pet respond well in return.
• Does the vet seem comfortable and confident handling your pet?
There are few animals that enjoy visiting the vet, so don’t be too concerned if your pet doesn’t appear to like any of the clinics on your list.
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