Things to Consider When Looking For A New Veterinarian

So you’ve gotten your new bundle of joy — perhaps your research has led you to the perfect puppy from a reputable breeder or that special dog tugged on your heart strings at the shelter. Maybe, you’ve just moved to a new town or your former vet has retired or closed his or her practice.

You’ve gotten the best food, found super fun toys, knit a blanket for your best buddy’s new bed but you probably haven’t given much thought to yearly rabies shots or where to go in case of a medical emergency. Since finding the best vet service for your needs is pretty important, here are a few things to consider when searching.

  1. Location, location, location — Do you encounter any vet offices on your regular commute? Do you pass any billboards or other advertising for local vets? Is the office or building easily accessible or do you have to make an impossible left hand turn to get to the parking lot? Does the parking lot provide ample spots or is it on-street parking?
  2. Ask friends, neighbors, or co-workers for recommendations — Friends and co-workers make great sleuths. Most of them have opinions and are more than happy to express them. Ask your best friend or a reliable co-worker where they take their pets. Though it isn’t advisable to take these opinions on face value, these suggestions would provide you with a place to start. If you’re in a new town or city, try doing a search on LocalVets.com, just enter your zip code and list of local offices will appear with names, phone numbers, services and a brief description.
  3. Does your pet require specialty services — If you’ve adopted a toucan while volunteering in the rain forest and now find yourself in Kansas, you may need to broaden your vet search to major metropolitan areas. If you’re hoping to begin your English Bulldog breeding program, you need to make sure to look for vets with complicated labor and delivery experience. Does Fido have a tendency to eat golf balls? Emergency contacts and hours would be very important. Remember to consider your pet and his or her needs when searching.
  4. Philosophy — Does the vet, and his or her staff, have beliefs that align with your own? Just as it’s important to find an appropriate vet for your toucan, you may find it uncomfortable to take your Jack-of-All-Breeds to an office that caters to purebreds.

Once you’ve found two or three that meet some of your more basic qualities, call them. Most offices worth their weight in salt will offer a meet and greet at no cost. This is an excellent opportunity to see the office “in its natural environment” before you have to bring your pet for necessary medical attention. During this informal meeting, you can get a feel for the environment, see how the staff treat the other animals, meet the head vet, learn about pricing, etc.

When looking for a new veterinarian, it is very important to consider the qualities you expect and keep your individual pet in mind. Do your research and ask for recommendations and opinions. Don’t be afraid to shop around. This will ensure that you have a great fit for your furry family members.

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