For humans, choosing a doctor is an important choice that requires careful deliberations, recommendations, and a willingness to be picky. Doctors are responsible for not only maintaining your health, but for making you feel comfortable and relaxed. The same is true for pets, but since they cannot choose their own veterinarians, it is up to their owners to pick for them. When choosing a veterinarian, there are a few key items to keep in mind that will help ensure that you and your pet have a positive experience at the vet.
Finding a Vet
There are several ways to go about finding a vet with whom to set up an appointment. The easiest way may be to simply ask your friends or neighbors for a recommendation. This way, you will get their firsthand information about the type of facility you are going to, and the way the vet handles their pets. If you do not know anyone to ask, the internet is a great resource. There are many websites that provide reviews of local businesses, including veterinarians. It is also a good policy to check that the vet is accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association.
Visiting the Facility
Once you’ve narrowed your choices to just a few, schedule a visit to the facility to make sure you feel comfortable with it. Most vets will understand your need to make a careful decision and will accommodate this request with no hesitation. While you are at the vet, see if the building is clean, organized, and comfortable. Find out whether appointments are required, how many vets work there, and whether pets are seen by veterinarians or technicians. Factors to check include convenience to your home, emergency services, and whether or not additional services such as x-rays and blood work can be done on site.
Go With Your Gut
One of the most important factors, besides technical details, is whether or not you feel comfortable with the people and facility that you are visiting. You should feel like the vet has you and your pet’s best interests at heart, and that they will be able to provide a loving atmosphere as well as a professional service.
Be a Diligent Pet Owner
Once you have selected a vet, there are a few important ways in which you can ensure that you are the best pet parent you can be. First and foremost, be sure to schedule regular preventative visits to the vet, rather than only taking them when they are sick. Pay attention to your pet’s behavior at all times so that if there is a problem, you will be the first to notice. After a visit, be sure to follow your vet’s advice carefully and precisely to ensure that your pet gets the best care possible!