Finding a doctor is always a challenging process, regardless of which family member it is for. The same process for selecting a pediatrician for your child applies when choosing a veterinarian. It is important to find a veterinarian and practice that you like and feel comfortable with. When selecting a veterinarian we encourage you to speak with the vet techs and office personal, interview the veterinarian and tour the practice.
The Preliminary Phone Call:
Call around to various veterinary practices and get to know them before deciding if this the correct match for you and your pet. It is important to get an overall feel for the practice, and see if it could be the right fit for you and your furry friend. Here are some questions to keep in mind when speaking with the receptionist:
- What types of animals does the clinic treat?
- How long have they been in business?
- How many veterinarians do they have in the practice?
- What services do they offer?
- What the normal business hours are?
- What are the costs of the services?
- Does the clinic offer emergency services?
- Ask if you can schedule an appointment to meet the vet and tour the facilities. If the clinic has a policy against this or is unwilling to do so, this should be a red flag.
We suggest speaking with the vet and get to know his or her practices. It is common for pet owners to “interview” new veterinarians and most vets would actually encourage this behavior. You want a vet that you are comfortable with, and most importantly a doctor that has the animal’s health and well being as the number one priority.
- Where did he or she attend veterinary school?
- Did he or she have a specilaity or concentration? This is a more important concern if you have an exotic or pet with special needs or health concerns.
- How long has the veterinarian been in practice?
- Does he or she volunteer at any area clinics or shelters? This will give you a better feel for the doctor.
The Facility Tour:
Scheduling a tour of the facility will give you a firsthand look at the clinic’s practices. You will be able to meet the staff and develop your first impression of the animal clinic. These tours are typically given by vet techs, so you will have a chance to talk with other staff members. Here are a few topics to note:
- Is the office clean?
- Is the equipment up to date?
- What do the boarding areas look like- do the animals have clean cages with food, water, and a bed?
- Selecting a veterinarian can be a challenging decision, but a little research, a tour of the facility, and meeting the staff can help ease your mind in making a decision about the correct vet for you and your pet.