Choosing a veterinarian is an important part of owning a dog. To find the best vet for your pooch it is important to do a little research before making a choice.
- Reputation and Recommendations: Instead of simply pulling a name out of the phonebook, choose your vet based on recommendations from your neighbors, friends and even rescue organizations. When collecting opinions, remember to pay special attention to the people who have the same approach to pet care as you do. Those recommendations will be the most valuable. Consider using the internet to find even more opinions on local vets. Websites like Yelp.com collect the opinions from different people so that you make a more informed decision.
- Location: As the old saying goes “location, location, location”. You don’t want to travel too far for your pet’s care. While your pet is healthy and young, you usually visit the vet 1-2 times yearly (so the drive doesn’t seem so tedious). But should you have an emergency with your pet or a health problem that requires frequent/regular visits, the proximity to the vet makes a difference. There is nothing worse that having to drive through traffic while your pet is having difficulty in the back seat of the car!
- Size of the Practice: The size of your vet’s practice is important. The size is often related to the ease of making appointments, the hours of operation and the amount of available equipment to treat your dog on site. If you know that there are only certain times you can go to the vet or if you have a dog that needs certain treatments, bigger veterinary offices with a number of vets might be a better option because of flexibility and accessibility.
- Credentials: Don’t assume a vet has the proper veterinary medicine degree. Check it out and ask questions. You wouldn’t want to see a doctor that wasn’t properly trained.
- Price: Each veterinary office creates their own pricing for their visits and care. Most vets charge fair market price based on their location and competition. You should ask, in advance, what they charge for some basic things and compare it to others in the area. Additionally, you should inquire to see if they accept doggie insurance.
Before you choose your vet, consider stopping by for a tour of the facility. While looking around, make sure the office is clean, modern, well organized and that reception is friendly and attentive. Being aware of these things as well as following the tips listed above will help you make an informed decision about your pet’s care.