Your Pet’s Vet


What to consider when choosing veterinary care

The holiday season is upon us, and there is no better gift to give your pet than proper veterinary care. Pets can’t tell you in words when they feel bad so you need to be prepared when the times come. Granted, most pet owners already have a vet, but you may not if you have recently moved or acquired a new friend. If that is the case, here are a few simple suggestions on how to pick the best vet for your pet.

Once a prospective client asked if her dog could meet me. Then she added, “he’s very aggressive, he even bit the last veterinarian, and I would like to see if he tries to bite you before changing vets.” That may seem extreme but what veterinarians think is important in choosing a provider versus what a pet owner thinks is often quite different. And the pet owner—and, of course, the pet—ultimately are the “deciders” on this one. If possible, avoid the “bite” test but do ask for an introductory visit.

Once inside, here are some considerations to look for: Are the upfront staff happy to see you? Is the facility clean? Does it have any odd smells? Does the veterinarian listen to you or lecture you? Do you feel like your veterinarian cares about not just your pet but also about you? If the answers to these questions satisfy you, and you feel like you can trust him or her, you may have found the right veterinarian.

For the pet and owner, trust is the most important factor and first impressions are everything. Like medical doctors, veterinarians are highly trained professionals and are capable of delivering expert care. However, bedside manners do differ, and finding the one that suits you and your pet is the key to a successful relationship. Trust is often realized within the first few minutes of the interaction with the vet, animal and owner(s). There should be a comfortable rapport accompanied by lots of smiling and tail wagging or purring.

You will be glad you took the time to find your pet the best caregiver available. Happy Holidays!

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