Saturday, February 28, 2009

How to Find a Veterinarian

Do you know how to find a reputable veterinarian for your four-legged friend? Think of it as if you are looking for a pediatrician for your human child. The same ideas apply; you are just looking for a veterinarian. A good place to start is to ask family, friends and coworkers. Do they like their vet? What kind of impression does their vet give? If you don’t have friends or family who live close by and you go shopping for a vet on your own do you know the questions to ask? Here’s some help.
Call a veterinarian in the area and make an appointment. Are they willing to see you without your pet first? If they are a good vet, they will understand. You want to meet the vet first alone to see if you get along and will be willing to trust your pet with them. Also ask them if they are willing to give you a tour of the practice. 
Arrive at the vet’s about fifteen minutes before your appointment time, this will give you a chance to visit with some of the other clients in the waiting room, and see how the vet interacts with not only them but their pet as well. It also gives you a chance to look around. 
How does the staff treat the patients waiting to see the vet? Are the office and staff neat and clean, or dirty and dingy? Does it smell clean or like urine and feces? Is the staff friendly and informative or standoffish and un-talkative? Are the vet’s credentials prominently displayed? Do they sell your brand of pet food? If not, do they have access to your food and are they willing to order it for you?
Questions to ask the vet:
  • Does the vet make house calls if you have a skittish animal or can’t get into the office?
  • If you’re in a rural area and have larger animals or birds, will the vet be able to take care of them too?
  • If money is an issue, will the vet work with you by allowing you to make payments on your outstanding bill?
  • Something else that is important, does the vet talk to you and explain things, or does he talk at you and expect you to follow his orders? You want a veterinarian who will work with you, not against you when dealing with your pet’s health issues. After all, your pet is still a member of the family and your veterinarian is just as important as any other doctor that a family member may see.

Ruthie Bently


  1. I thought vets never made house calls anymore!

  2. You know there is such a thing called specialization, so I think expecting the vet who owns a small animal clinic (cats and dogs), to be able to care for your horses, cows, sheep and birds is a bit stupid. Some vets might do that, but most of us specialize in either small or large animals, birds or wild animals. From a medical point of view these animals differ in a lot of things, like nutrition and drugs used to name a few. It is definitely possible for a vet who treats cows to treat the farm's dogs and cats as well but in my opinion finding a vet who specializes on small animals to treat your dog, is much better that someone who does a bit of everything, especially when it's about a more serious condition than, say, giving vaccines.


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