9 Tips for Choosing a Trustworthy Vet
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, as of 2020, nearly 100,000 vets were practicing in the United States. Choosing who to care for your four-legged friend is no easy task with so many options. Having the right person to go to for recommendations about the best dog supplements or to ask questions about stinky breath are just a couple of reasons you need to find a great vet in your area. This article will provide information on what to look for when choosing a vet, from their office location and environment to their staff and more.
What Is a Veterinarian?
A veterinarian is a licensed professional who has graduated with a degree in veterinary medicine. To earn this, they attend a school that includes extensive training in animal care and health, where they learn how to diagnose and treat diseases and injuries in animals.
Yes, You Need a Vet
Some people wonder if it’s necessary to have a vet to bring their dog to. It’s essential to have a good relationship with a vet for several reasons.
- First, by seeing the same vet regularly, your dog will learn to trust them. Then, if you bring your dog in when they’re ill, this trust will help them relax and allow the vet to examine them.
- Second, it’s crucial to establish a good rapport with your vet because they will be able to diagnose any problems before they become serious as they’ll be more familiar with your dog, existing conditions, and what is typical for your dog’s behavior.
- Third, it will make emergencies easier because the vet will be familiar with your dog and its history and know what to do.
Finding the Right Vet
Here are nine great tips for choosing a trustworthy veterinarian:
- Ask Your Friends, Family, and Neighbors
One of the best ways to find a vet is through word of mouth. When you ask a veterinarian’s clients about their experiences, the chances of getting an accurate description of the doctor and all they offer are increased. In addition, it is important to ask your family and friends for recommendations, especially if you feel they understand what good animal care looks like.
- Look For Veterinarians with the Right Educational Background
A veterinarian should have advanced training in animal care and health. This means they must have completed an accredited, four-year college veterinary program that included clinical rotations. However, it should be noted there are other jobs in the veterinary bubble that do not require folks to complete these degrees because their jobs are only associated with the care of animals. For example, veterinary technicians undergo extensive education, but they are not doctors. For this reason, it is important to find out what type of education the person you intended to see has completed before deciding which to choose.
- Make Sure the Veterinarian Is an Approved Member of a Veterinary Medical Association
A veterinarian should be a member of a veterinary association by choice. The doctor must have gone through a review process and met specific standards to be accepted as a member. As a result, the veterinarian is more likely to have ethical business practices. The primary veterinary association in the U.S. is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), which is also the designated accrediting body for schools of veterinary medicine and publishes the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
- Location, Location, Location
An important factor in choosing a vet is where they’re located. You should find a veterinarian who is conveniently located near your home and work, so you’ll be able to reach them quickly if you need them. Whether you have a car or not, the closer the better when it comes to everything from making regular appointments to rushing in for an emergency.
- What Services Do They Offer?
When looking for a veterinarian, try to find out what services they offer. These could include general services like vaccinations, deworming, and regular checkups. In addition, some clinics provide special treatments like laser therapy, acupuncture for pets, or pet rehabilitation. You can also ask about boarding and grooming services.
- How Busy Are They?
Choosing a vet with a strong practice and a respectable client list is obviously good. It shows they’re experienced and trusted by the community around them to care for pets. However, if they’re so busy that you can’t get an appointment without booking months in advance, you may want to consider finding another vet. After all, injured or sick dogs do not have the luxury of waiting around for appointments.
- How Much Does the Vet Cost?
A few simple steps will help you figure out how much the veterinarian charges for their services. First, ask your veterinarian how much standard services like vaccinations and checkups cost. This will give you a good idea of what to expect during a routine visit. Second, if the veterinarian offers any extra services, ask for a quote before you have treatments done so you can plan accordingly.
- Operating Hours
Similar to travel distance, hours of operation are another significant consideration. This is especially true if you work a job where it’s challenging to get away during regular business hours. Many vet clinics have staggered hours with one or two days off weekly. You might want to find one that stays open late a couple of nights a week or which has accommodating weekend hours.
- What’s the Vibe?
Visit the clinic with your pet to get a feel for the place. This might cost you a fee for the vet to see your pet. However, it can be worth it in the long run. How does the staff treat you? How attentive is the vet? What is your pet’s body language and behavior telling you? Of course, some animals like nervous dogs will need to be coaxed and rewarded with some delicious natural dog treats. However, it might be a red flag if a usually happy-go-lucky dog won’t stop whimpering or trembling.
Keep Calm and Carry On
If you go through all these steps only to find out a year later that the vet you picked isn’t really for you, or you end up moving to a new part of the city, don’t worry. Just keep calm and review this list again. There are tons of fantastic vets out there. You just need to find them.