Selecting a veterinarian is a personal choice, much like selecting your family physician or dentist. In choosing a veterinarian, your goals should be to find the doctor that best meets your needs and to establish a long-term relationship. You will want to be comfortable with the veterinarian, their staff and the clinic environment. Personal references can be a great way to help select a veterinarian.
If you've just moved, you will want to locate a veterinarian soon. Don't wait until your pet becomes ill; you want to establish a relationship right away. Your veterinarian can give you with information on special climate concerns for your pet. In addition, since traveling can be a stressful experience for a pet, an early check-up may be in order.
Considerations in Selecting a Veterinarian
- What are the doctor's regular office hours?
- Are they compatible with your schedule?
- Who covers the practice when the doctor is unavailable?
- How are routine telephone calls handled? Is the staff polite and courteous?
- If there is more than one veterinarian in the practice, can you request an appointment with a specific veterinarian?
- Do you feel comfortable talking with the doctor and staff?
- Are you comfortable with how the veterinarian and staff interact with your pet/animal?
Fees and Payment
- What methods of payment are accepted?
- Is immediate payment expected on the day of visit?
- Is pet insurance accepted?
- Are there other payment plans available?
- What is the range of services that the veterinary hospital provides?
- Will most of your pet's care be able to be handled at this hospital? Will referral for diagnostics or procedures be necessary?
- How are emergency calls handled during regular office hours and after regular office hours?
- Is the practice clean and orderly?
- Are there any unpleasant odors?
- Is the veterinarian a member of a professional veterinary association?
- Do you understand the hospital's policies and procedures?