Choosing a veterinarian for your pet’s health and wellness is one of the most important decisions you will make as a pet parent. After all, the goal is to keep our fur babies healthy, happy and on Earth for as long as possible, right? Finding the right health care provider for your precious pup or fluffy feline is a personal decision that will lay the foundation for your pets’ health. If you are like me, you want quality care that comes with ease and Peace of Mind for your precious pet. Contrary to popular belief, our pets are not born hating the vet! Find a place that makes them feel comfortable and (dare I say) one they look FORWARD to going to! While the responsibility of choosing your pets’ health care provider is HUGE, the process of finding the best fit for you and your pet can and should be FUN! So, take a deep breath and follow these 7 great ways to go about choosing the best vet for your pet.
Talk to your pet owner friends
Get recommendations about the best veterinarians from people you trust who also have pet owning experience. Start by building a list of possible vets based on these recommendations. This list may also include some fair warnings of less than stellar practices based on others’ experience. Consider what type of pet or breed your friends own(ed). A 15-year-old Maine-coon cat will have a vastly different veterinary experience than a brand-new yellow lab puppy. Friends who own pets are a wonderful place to start your vet choosing process.
The best vet for your pet may not fall right into your lap but with focused research the right fit will come along in no time. After gathering a list of names/practices from your pet owning pals do some of your own research. Thoroughly review each candidate’s website and read their testimonials. If people are saying things that you are looking for in a vet like “personal attention” “timely and considerate service” “open evenings and weekends” “good value” or “very professional” they may be worth looking into further. In addition to the compiled list of recommendations from your friends, a Google search for veterinarians in your area is another fabulous resource. Always read reviews and look for people who describe what you hope to find in a vet. Live in Plymouth, MA? Click here for a list of local veterinarians!
Visit (or Call) to feel it out
The best way, hands down, to learn if a vet practice will work for you and your pet is to experience it firsthand. When possible, take a trip to your top choices for a visit. You can first do this without your pet to get a feel for cleanliness, day to day operations, and whether the staff meet your friendliness standards. If the visit goes well and you are pleased with your experience, set up a trial visit for your pet. Realize that right now, in a COVID world, scheduling “research visits” may not be an option. Rather than in person, make phone calls to your top choices to inquire about their practice and ask the staff and veterinarian your questions.
Hours of Operation
The best vet for your pet means they are available when you need them! The hours and days of operation vary from practice to practice. Think ahead to what days of the week you will be available to schedule your pet’s routine visits and ensure that your vet of choice is open. If you are only available on weekends and your vet is not open Saturday or Sunday that may be a deciding factor and time to look at other options. If you choose in-home veterinary care, ask for their “on-call hours”. Many times, traveling vets hold hours of operation like a brick and mortar clinic. If the vet, you choose is not open or available 24/7 you will want an emergency veterinarian for your pet as well. Once you have chosen your primary care vet ask them for their recommendation on an emergency vet.
Location Location Location
Choosing a vet who is close and convenient is beneficial and can be life changing when it comes to an emergency. Consider your travel time to each vet clinic and decide if that is a distance you feel comfortable traveling with your pet, particularly in the event of an emergency. Knowing the proximity of a clinic is to your home is an excellent way to narrow your search.
Fees and Money Matters
When it comes choosing the best vet for your pet financials matter! To choose a vet that foremost meets your financial needs, compare the pricing of multiple clinics. Always ask ahead of time the full costs of procedures to avoid any unexpected fees. Inquire about methods of payment, payment plans or financial assistance before committing.
Connect with the Vet on your Pet Care Philosophies
Get down to business by asking the veterinarians their beliefs on practices and treatments for things like cancer, spaying and neutering, and euthanasia. If you believe in holistic and alternative treatments is this something they practice and/or condone? Is the vet patient and understanding of your questions and inquiries? The quality of health care for your pet is not something to compromise on. If a vet does not feel like the “right fit” continue your quest until you feel 100% comfortable in your decision.
Gain Confidence in Your Choice
As a pet parent there is no greater choice to make than their health care provider. When embarking on this important quest consider others’ experiences and investigate their recommendations. Research thoroughly while getting answers to your important questions. Make the choice that works within your budget and time and choose a vet who aligns with your personal pet care philosophies. Following these guidelines will give you confidence and Peace of Mind in making your final decision of which vet to choose for your pet. Remember, choosing a vet is not like a marriage proposal. You are not looking for “the one”, you are making a choice that most closely aligns with your values and expectations of the health care provided to your pet. If your initial choice ends up not being the “right fit” you can always change!
Just Around the Corner offers daily Dog Walking and Pet Sitting in Plymouth, MA. To learn more about how Just Around the Corner can help, check out our Services Page. You can also Contact Us for more information. Be sure to Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Instagram!