How to find the right vet for my pet?
You've just welcomed a new furry family member (or you are looking for a new vet). There are numerous factors to consider when looking for the best possible vet for you and your cat or dog who is qualified and can provide the necessary medical veterinary care.
Here, our Smyrna vets provide you with some valuable advice on how you can find the right veterinarian for your pet.
Ask Fellow Pet Owners & The Cat/Dog Community
Begin your search by speaking with other pet owners in the area. What veterinarian do they visit, and why? What characteristics persuaded them that this was the vet for them? You can consult with friends, family, groomers, and even other pet parents in an obedience class or at the dog park.
We all love our four-legged friends, so you're bound to come across some interesting and varied viewpoints, useful information, and possibly some important elements you hadn't considered before.
Check Online Reviews
Then you can do some investigating. When it comes to finding a new veterinarian, Google and social media platforms can be your best friends. What do their website, social media channels, and Google My Business profile reviews say?
According to client feedback, are the veterinarians attentive, punctual, knowledgeable, and compassionate? Do they genuinely care about their patient's well-being? How about their office staff? Are they courteous and responsive?
While many practices may have one or two unhappy clients, it is a red flag if you see consistent complaints that demonstrate a pattern of poor service, unprofessionalism, and so on. Check the reviews for responses as well - is the practice responsive to concerns, and are questions or concerns addressed on time?
An active presence online and on social media might mean the vets and staff will be similarly responsive in person.
Visit the Facility
Some key indicators to pay attention to outdoors and indoors are:
Practical considerations like location, parking, and accessibility are most likely at the top of your list. Can you easily get to the office? Is the location clean and accessible? Is there safe and convenient parking? Is the office in a secure area?
Visit the office during the times you'll most likely be scheduling appointments because this is the only way to find out if unexpected factors like traffic congestion or limited parking around the office make it a no-go.
During your visits, you'll most likely spend a significant amount of time in the waiting room. Check to see if the waiting area is clean and comfortable and if the overall atmosphere is relaxed.
Don’t forget to ask about wait times, as a full waiting room may indicate multiple veterinary emergencies that day, not necessarily long waits.
A list of questions you might want to ask at your visit:
What are your hours?
Are the hours suitable for you? Because your cat or dog will need preventive care, vaccinations, and regular exams, the practice's hours must coincide with yours.
What equipment do you have onsite?
Does the veterinary practice have advanced specialized equipment on site, such as diagnostic imaging technology?
Our Smyrna facility has a full-service veterinary laboratory, which allows us to perform a variety of tests, obtain quick results, provide an accurate diagnosis, and begin treatment as soon as possible.
Are tests or treatments outsourced?
What tests are available at the hospital or office, and which are sent to other facilities? In our in-house lab at Cumberland Animal Clinic, we perform a variety of tests, including Complete Blood Counts, parasite tests, and urinalysis, among others.
Which services do you offer?
As your cat or dog reaches developmental milestones, comprehensive services will become increasingly important. Our full-service veterinary hospital provides all of the services your furry friend will require as they grow, including wellness exams, vaccinations, and preventive care, as well as dentistry, surgery, and geriatric care.
Our on-site pharmacy is conveniently stocked with a wide variety of medications and prescription diets, ensuring that you have quick access to any medications your pets may require while in our care.
Check Training & Qualifications
This is where picking the right vet is comparable to shopping for other services. Is the vet you’re considering licensed to work in the U.S. and their state?
Do people working at the hospital (such as registered veterinary technicians) hold licenses? Ask to see these, or contact your state’s board of veterinary medicine for this information.
Board-certified specialists are an added benefit. To become board-certified, these professionals have completed additional years of school and intensive training in a specialty area of veterinary medicine (such as surgery, orthopedics, dermatology, and so on).
Evaluate the Vet’s Communication Style
Your veterinarian's communication style and bedside manner are critical in developing a comfortable, honest, and relaxed relationship with the people who will be caring for your cat or dog's medical needs. Whether you're coming in for a routine exam or learning your pet may need surgery, compassion, punctuality, and professionalism are essential.
How are service fees calculated? When shopping for prices, keep in mind that one vet's price for a given treatment may include post-op painkiller medication, anesthesia, and monitoring, whereas another vet's total may not, so ask for procedure totals. Animal hospitals are one-of-a-kind, with varying overhead costs.
Leaving Your Current Vet?
Many patients leave a veterinary clinic because of perceived communication issues or service issues. If this is the case, send an email or a letter to the staff at your current clinic. Though this may feel awkward, it may also start a conversation and allow the veterinarian to respond. If you are unable to reach an agreement, many veterinarians will gladly refer you elsewhere.
If you are searching for a new vet for your kitty or pup, now is a good time to meet the staff and veterinarians at Cumberland Animal Clinic.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.