Finding the Right Veterinarian

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right veterinarian for your pet.

Finding the right veterinarian can indeed be a difficult task.  It is often best to start with word of mouth referrals from friends or relatives who have had positive experiences with a particular veterinarian.  I would then recommend visiting the veterinary facility to find out as much as is possible about the practice, both in terms of cleanliness and organization, as well as to interview the veterinary staff to find out about practice philosophy and patient care.

Some of the important issues to discuss include vaccination protocols, hospital services in terms of diagnostics, therapies and surgery, as well as if frequent referrals are needed for specialists.

Office hours, and after-hour emergency care is also important, should your animal companion get sick late at night, or on weekends or holidays.

It is preferable that there be separate waiting rooms for dogs and cats, and that the staff is friendly and that technicians and veterinarians are available to answer questions.  Location is important as well; if the veterinarian is too far away, that could present trouble during inclement weather and rush hour traffic.

The internet is an excellent source of information on veterinary doctors.  Many veterinarians now have websites that offer much detail regarding veterinary staff and practice philosophy.  It is even possible to read client reviews regarding the practice directly on the internet.  Probably the least important factor in finding the right veterinarian should be cost.  However, during this tough economic time, many animal guardians are balancing tight budgets with financial allocation toward pet health care.

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