For a lot of pet owners, dogs and cats are not just animals—they are family. And just as they would with their human family members, these owners want the best medical care for their pets. If you are an animal owner who is in the process of finding the right vet, the good news is that there are a number of excellent veterinarians out there, and it just takes a little bit of time and energy to narrow down that pool to find the one that works best for you. Here are a few tips to help you in your efforts.
1. Do Not Wait for an Emergency
The time to look for a vet is not when a pet is facing a real health emergency. Owners should give themselves a good amount of time to really do a thorough search. The best way to find a vet you trust completely is to provide yourself with the time and resources necessary to investigate a veterinarian’s professional background and bedside manners.
2. Identify the Qualities That Are Most Important to You
Not all vets are created equal. If you identify the qualities you need and desire early on, it will make finding the right vet a lot easier. Here are some things you may want to consider as you make your list:
- Is your pet prone to certain hereditary conditions? If so, you may want to find a vet who specializes in them.
- What kind of personality types work best for your pet?
- How far are you willing to travel for your pet’s checkups?
3. Do Research in Order to Gauge the Office and Its Staff
Once you have narrowed down the pool of possibilities a little, it is a good idea to visit the vets’ websites and give their offices a call to gather more information. You can often tell a lot about a vet by the way her office employees conduct themselves; if the receptionists and technicians are friendly, helpful, and competent, it speaks well for the vet’s practice overall.
4. Check for Reactions to Bathroom Accidents
From the perspective of an animal, vets’ offices are probably very scary places. They are full of strange people, they smell of many other animals, and they often have a sterile feel. Because of this, many dogs and cats feel anxious and nervous when they visit the vet, making it inevitable that some of them will have accidents in the office. If someone’s pet has a bathroom accident while you are there, it is a good opportunity to further gauge staff members. Do they admonish to owner, or do they calmly address the situation and set about cleaning it promptly? Good receptionists and technicians know that animals can be frightened by new and sterile surroundings, and will understand if a dog or cat has an accident on their floor.
5. Pay Attention to the Vet’s Demeanor Toward Your Pet
A vet’s demeanor and bedside manner can make the world of difference in your pet’s experience in the office. When you take your animal in for the first time, try to determine whether he is treating your pet in a manner that is calming and reassuring. This will help your animal to relax, and will make visiting the vet a lot easier for everyone involved.
Finding the right vet can be a little daunting, but with the right time and effort, you are sure to get a health care professional who can provide your pet with excellent care for years to come.