One of the important factors in growing a pet is to find a good veterinarian for it. You should not wait until your pet develops some complications. Even otherwise, you have to take your pet to a vet periodically. In that limited sense, you will be relying a lot on the vet for the wellbeing of your pet. So, how will you go about choosing the right vet for your pet, cat, or dog? Here are some recommendations from experts and pet parents who had been there and done it before.
Word of Mouth Works Well
One of the best methods you can follow is to spread the word around to your friends that you are looking for a good vet. You may be able to get some references. You may not go blindly with their recommendations alone. You can check with other sources, like pet-shelters if they can suggest a good vet in the locality. You will be surprised to know how these things work. If you are taking your pet for a walk in the park and have developed some friendships with other pet parents, you can check with them too.
Make Physical Visits to the Clinics
If you have gathered a list of 4 or 5 vets and their pet clinics near your place, you should move to the next stage in the process. Have a set of questions to ask them when you call by phone. Find out the clinic’s timings; check if they attend to emergencies irrespective of the hour. Do they specialize in specific pets or do they have vets to attend to all animals? What is their staff strength?
The responses you get from the clinics to your phone call will provide you with some clarity and you may strike off one or two. You can then fix an appointment to visit the pet clinics you have shortlisted, first without taking your pet along and again with your pet. You should pay for an examination of your pet by the vet and interact with him/her. You may be very close to finding the right vet for your pet.
Check the Credentials
You must ensure that the vet you intend to choose has proper credentials, qualifications, and experience as well as the mandatory registration with the local authorities. The states may have a system of granting registrations. There is the American Animal Hospital Association that recognizes pet clinics. These credentials ensure your pet will be protected from any wrong treatments.
Location and Costs
If all the above elements appear positive and you feel you can trust the vet, you must make sure the pet clinic is not too far from your place. Experts suggest the longest you should be required to drive to take your pet to the vet must be around an hour, not more.
You should have the details of the charges the vet or the clinic charges for the various services. Besides the affordability aspect, there is the “money versus services rendered” angle. Some setups deliberately price their services high. It is advisable to avoid them.
If you have been able to find a good vet, stick by him/her. You can always change if you or your pet feel uncomfortable at any point in time.