Tips for Choosing a Veterinarian

Veterinarian Petting Dog

No matter what your pet’s medical needs are, the last thing you want is the town quack administering essential medical treatments to him. Whether you’re looking for a veterinarian for the first time, or hoping to replace the vet that’s currently caring for your pet, these tips will help you find the right one.

Ask for referrals. If you have friends, family or coworkers with pets, ask them for the names and numbers of the veterinarians they use. With your list in hand, make arrangements to check out the facilities. While you’re there:

  • Look around to see if the facilities are clean and well-organized.
  • Watch to see how the staff interacts with the pets and their parents.
  • Find out who will be responsible for administering medical care to your pet when the primary vet is on vacation, or absent for any other reason.
  • Don’t be afraid to get in the vet’s professional business. Where did he go to school? How long has he been licensed? What is his philosophy about pet care? When it comes to the safety and care of your pet, take no prisoners.

Pay attention to communication skills. Is communication seamless? If the doctor isn’t listening or communicating with you during your first visit, he’s not going to start when you bring up concerns about your pet.

Check for AAHA accreditation. The American Animal Hospital Association is an organization that sets the standard of excellence in veterinarian services. Keep in mind though, not all quality vet practices are AAHA accredited. Opting for one with the AAHA seal of approval simply improves the likelihood that your animal will get a top-notch medical provider.

Before you finalize your decision, consider the clinic’s operating hours and location. Of course, when it comes to getting the best care for your pet, distance and operating hours aren’t going to be the determining factors. However, if the hours are inconvenient and the facility is far away, it can impact your ability to get your animal to the vet if there is ever an emergency.

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