March 18, 2011
Finding the Best Vet for Your Pet
Are you searching for the perfect veterinarian for your canine companion, but are unsure where to begin? Perhaps you are looking for a clinic that offers both traditional and holistic modalities, or maybe you are new to the area and are looking for a veterinary office close to your home or work? You may even be searching for a new veterinary clinic because of an unsatisfying experience that you have endured at a different veterinary hospital. Whatever your reason, finding the perfect veterinary clinic can be fairly simple if you know what details to look for.
There are many factors to consider when searching for the ideal clinic. Are you looking for a clinic that is accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association ? These hospitals are ensured that their facility is instituting the highest standards of cleanliness and safety, while also keeping staff members up to date on the most current practices in veterinary medicine. Accreditation from AAHA is valuable to both the hospital staff as well as the clientele, but not all veterinary hospitals are accredited simply because of the financial strain involved in becoming AAHA accredited. There are many veterinary clinics that may not have the accreditation from AAHA, but still practice the same laws of safety, cleanliness, and education that are enforced by AAHA.
Are you looking for a veterinarian that can offer your pet holistic or traditional veterinary care? Traditional veterinary clinics believe in vaccinating against diseases that could be potentially harmful and life-threatening to your pet. They often utilize antibiotics, pain medication, steroids, anti-inflammatories, and prescription diets to aid in the treatment of certain health conditions. Holistic veterinary clinics may discourage the over vaccination of pets and often encourage vaccine titers to determine the pet’s natural immunity to certain diseases, such as distemper and rabies. Holistic clinics are typically able to offer unique services like acupuncture, massage, essential oil treatment, herbal therapy, and chiropractic care. Some holistic clinics also believe in feeding a raw meat diet versus conventional pet food diets. There are some clinics that are equipped to provide both traditional and holistic veterinary care. If you happen to locate one that is of interest to you, ask to schedule a consultation to see what options would be the best for your pet.
Are you seeking a veterinarian that can see not only your cuddly canine, but also your felines and exotic pets? Finding a clinic that specializes in multiple species can be extremely helpful if you are undergoing medical issues with more than one pet in your household.
Are you looking for a clinic that is cost effective? What services are included in surgery costs? Finding out what is included in a surgery can help to prevent sticker shock when you receive your final bill. Some vet clinics offer “all inclusive” surgery packages that include bloodwork, medications, hospital observation, and anesthesia. Others may give you an estimate for a surgery, but the bloodwork and other services may have to be performed at an additional charge. If your pet is in need of a dental cleaning, be aware that dental extractions and x-rays may be a necessary part of the treatment. Knowing the prices of these services can help to put you at ease in case they need to be performed at the time of the surgery.
Other factors that are important to consider when looking for the perfect veterinary clinic are the clinic’s hours of operation and location. If your work schedule is unpredictable or if your work hours are later than most, you may need to find a clinic that operates with longer hours during the week. Most clinics are open until 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. But, there are some that are able to take appointments during later evening hours. If your career is keeping you busy during the week, remember that most veterinary offices are able to schedule appointments on Saturday mornings, usually until Noon or 1 p.m. Depending on your location, you may be fortunate enough to find a veterinary clinic close to your home. But, if you live in a less populated area, you may need to prepare yourself for a drive, depending on the kind of care your pet needs.
Think you have found a veterinary clinic that meets all of your needs? Take the next step by giving them a phone call or paying them a visit in person. This will give you the first impression of the clinic and their staff. This impression can be a negative one if you receive poor customer service. You may even decide to go one step further and visit the veterinary clinic with your pet. While there, evaluate your surroundings. How does the staff react to you and your animal? Are they friendly and knowledgeable? Do the veterinarians have a professional demeanor? Is the clinic organized and clean? If you answered yes to all of these questions, you may be one step closer to finding your ideal veterinary clinic.
If you are unsure of where to begin your search, try using the Internet. This will allow you to search for local veterinarians in your neighborhood, along with testimonials about experiences that were had by others. If you do not have access to the internet, talk to friends and family for their recommendations. If you are new to your neighborhood, try asking local pet stores and pet groomers for their recommendations. You can even obtain recommendations from others in your community while visiting the dog park.
When you locate the veterinary clinic that is right for you, share your experiences with others by word of mouth or by writing an Internet review. Your opinion can be crucial in helping someone else to find the veterinarian of their dreams!