Did you know that in 2016, 27% of pets did not visit the vet?
Your furry friends are an important part of your life and family, and they deserve good veterinary care. Animals should go to the vet for a routine check-up at least once a year.
But what should you look for in a good veterinary clinic? Read on for 7 of the most important things you should consider.
1. What Do You Consider Good Veterinary Care?
This is something you need to seriously consider. If you’ve just adopted a pet for the first time, this may be a question you’ve never considered.
If you’re unsure, ask your friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, anyone. They may even recommend a clinic.
Remember, however, choosing the clinic is up to you and your pet. Think about how you want your pet to be treated. Is the place you’re visiting is somewhere you’d be OK with leaving them alone if you ever had to?
2. Is the Clinic in Your Budget?
If you’re on a budget, be sure the practice you’re visiting fits within it. Some vets are more expensive than others, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to be the better practices.
At a minimum, your pet is going to have to visit the clinic at least once a year for their annual checkup.
If they need vaccines, bloodwork, or anything else pops up, the price is only going to go up from there. Keep this in mind.
3. Ask How the Clinic Is Run
Do not be afraid to ask questions. This not only ensures you and your vet have good communication, but it also lets them know you’re interested in your pet’s care.
Does the practice have licensed veterinary technicians on staff?
How are the overnight patients monitored? What equipment do they have on hand? How are patients evaluated before anesthesia and surgery?
4. Ask What Is Needed for a First Visit
Does the vet require anything special for a first visit? Would they like you to bring a stool sample along so they don’t have to collect it themselves?
You should always walk your dog a bit before their visit, don’t forget bags for if they go to the bathroom outside. Always, always make sure they’re comfortable before going inside the waiting room, especially if they’re nervous.
Being fully prepared with what the vet may need reduces unnecessary anxiety for your animal, and ensures that the vet doesn’t become a place they fear.
5. What Are Their Emergency Services?
Why would your pet ever need emergency services, you ask? According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are several reasons. A few include unconsciousness, severe bleeding (or bleeding that doesn’t stop with five minutes), seizures, or heatstroke.
Ask the veterinary clinic you’re visiting what they advice their advice is in these situations, or ask a few of these questions.
Do they offer emergency services? Do they refer you to a different clinic? If so, how close is that clinic?
If they do refer you to an emergency clinic, be sure to do some research into that one as well.
It’s normal for emergency clinics to complete an initial assessment of your pet for them to decide on the best course of action. They will often give you a list of options to take for your pet and then let you decide from there. Emergency vet clinic should be equipped with special equipment and machines so all routes of treatment can be pursued at that facility.
6. How Well Do They Communicate with You?
When you’re asking all of these questions, how quickly do they have an answer for you? Are the answers well-informed, or do they beat around the bush before getting to the point?
Sometimes, veterinarians are impatient with owners but great with pets. Whether that is OK is up to you.
On the other hand, the practice could have great communication skills, but little to no information on their services. These clinics should be avoided.
Good rapport, however, is essential to any good relationship–especially healthcare. Whether that effective communication is between you and the technician, or you and the veterinarian (ideally, it’d be both) it’s there.
No matter what, if you’re comfortable with the care your pet receives, that is all that should matter.
7. Stick to the basics, and Your Gut
If possible, arrange for a first appointment without your dog. When you’re at the clinic, take a look around.
Does the premises appear to be clean and kept up with? Are the faces friendly and welcoming, or do you feel like your pet wouldn’t be very comfortable here?
If something doesn’t feel right, don’t hesitate to ask about it. How well does the staff answer your questions?
In the end, you should trust yourself and your decision.
If you decide to not go with a certain vet, don’t be afraid to switch. Good veterinary practices, whether you decide to stay with them or not, will understand that you made the best decision for your animal.
Making the Final Decision
There should be no compromising when it comes to your animal. If you find a clinic you love and it’s well within your price range, that’s perfect! If you find a clinic you adore that’s a little more expensive, ask yourself if it’s worth the extra money.
Choosing a good veterinary practice is an important choice. You and your pet are going to spend a lot of collective time there throughout the years. Veterinarians play an important role in the lives of those they help.