How To Find The Right Veterinarian
16 March, 2018
We know the importance of finding the right doctor for ourselves and our kids. And when it comes to our fur kids, we want them to be in good hands and feel comfortable with their veterinarian’s advice. If you move to another area or aren’t happy with your current veterinarian, than how do you find the right veterinarian?
If you just moved to a new area, ask your neighbors or colleagues
As with any new endeavor, friends, neighbors or colleagues are a great place to start looking for a veterinarian. If you see your neighbor with a dog or cat, ask away. You can even ask your current veterinarian if they know of a veterinarian in your new location. If you’re in a new place where you don’t know many people, check out reviews on a site like Yelp or Angie’s List, where you can learn about other people’s experiences with veterinarians in your area.
Look for AAHA accreditation in the animal hospital you are considering
It’s always a good idea to choose an animal hospital that’s been accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). Animal hospitals are accredited show they are committed to meeting — or exceeding — standards in a variety of different areas (approximately 900 standards). They must prove to a third-party (AAHA) that they consistently provide the safest, highest quality care. Read more about the importance of an AAHA Accreditation
Take a tour of the veterinary facility
When you find a practice you think you like, ask for a tour. The hospital should be happy to show you its facility. During the tour ask yourself the following:
Is the clinic clean?
Do the animals seem comfortable and safe?
Are dogs and cats separated?
Does the equipment look up-to-date?
Is there too much clutter?
Is the staff friendly and attentive to the patients waiting?
Schedule a “get acquainted” meeting
The worst time to find a veterinarian is when your pet becomes sick and needs one right away. Instead, schedule a brief get acquainted meeting so you and your pet can meet with the veterinarian. This meeting will allow you to ask about hospital practices and figure out if this hospital and particular veterinarian is the “right fit” for both you and your pet.
Ask the right questions that are important to you and your pet’s needs
When you visit a veterinarian’s office for the first time, you should ask plenty of questions to give you a full picture of their practice. You may write down a few specific questions based on your list of priorities, and you should also ask the following questions:
1. Can you request an appointment with a certain veterinarian? The answer should be yes.
2. Do you have a large network of specialists if needed? The answer should be yes.
3. What is your telephone policy? They should have educated staff available to answer your questions over the phone. But you should always be able to leave the veterinarian a message to call you back. Or what about after hours?
4. What is your response to emergencies? If your pet has a serious emergency, the hospital should be able to see you immediately or arrange for your pet to go to another hospital that can.
5. What types of payment methods do you offer? Ask the practice to make sure that they are set up to accept the types of payments you need. Or more important, take the pet insurance that you have.
Once you are satisfied with the facility, it’s time for the real test. Take your pet in for an appointment to see the new veterinarian. If the visit goes well and you feel comfortable as does your pet and there is good follow-up, than that vet just might be the right one for you.
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