veterinarian choosing a vet find a vet

Buster’s Vision Education Tool

Finding Dr. Doolittle

By Terry Ambrose, Writer & Ardent Animal Advocate
Editor, Meet Gulati

May 2, 2017


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Choosing a Veterinarian for your Pet

The most important person in your pet’s life, aside from its owner,  is its veterinarian. Therefore, you need to find a vet ASAP.  In addition, locate an urgent care pet hospital. This will safeguard your pet’s health. It is important to research the breed before you get a pet. Also, research the history of breed genetic defeats. When choosing a vet, you need to inform them of possible defects.

How Do I Choose A Vet?

Talk to friends with pets.
Who did they choose, and why? How did they find a vet?
Talk to shelter workers.
If you adopt from a pet shelter,  ask for vet information. Also, get pet’s health history.
Check with breeders, breed clubs, and breed rescues.
Pure breeds are inclined to genetic defects and diseases. Defects and diseases tend to be breed-specific. I.E. Labradors commonly develop fatty tumors with age. Breeders, breed clubs, and breed rescues are excellent resources. They have skills and acquired knowledge. They can recommend expert vets. Specialized vets are skilled with pure breed defects and diseases.

choosing a veterinarian find a vet

Do Your Homework.

You wouldn’t select a doctor for yourself only by word of mouth alone, don’t do it with your vet. Your vet should be a member of a recognized professional organization.

Advances in veterinary medicine have progressed. New and more effective drugs are available. Advances in diagnostic testing and surgical procedures occur daily. As a result, in the last 10 years, organ transplants and prosthetic limbs are now available. Find a vet and staff that has active continuing education policy to ensure your pet receives the most advanced care.

What services should I expect from a veterinarian’s office or veterinary hospital?

Full-service pet hospitals are becoming increasingly popular. Services available are lab work, radiology, pathology, and more. They also have over-night hospital care. If you have a neighborhood vet, ask for their suggested pet ER. Program your phone with the numbers and addresses for emergencies. This precaution can save a pet’s life.

To avoid stress, select a full-service accredited American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). They provide on-site lab, radiology, and pathology services. In addition, they have 24-hour staffing.

Watch the excellent linked video, What Makes a Veterinary Practice AAHA Accredited.

Ask those important questions to find a vet!

Find a preferred practice. Call and discuss the following:

  • Can you request an appointment with a particular veterinarian? Are you able to leave a message with the vet? Will the vet do a call back regarding your pet?
  • Does the hospital have a large network of specialists? 
  • Is the hospital’s staff well educated?
  • How does the hospital handle emergencies? Will the hospital take you in immediately? And, will they arrange an appointment with a nearby hospital?
  • What is the wait time for an appointment?
  • What is their payment policy?
Meet the Vet and Take a Tour

Make an appointment to meet the vet and tour the practice.

  • What are your first impressions of the vet? Did he or she welcome your interests? Do they provide the best veterinary care for your pet? Were they happy to meet with you? Did they answer your questions?
  • Does the hospital have any accreditations? I.E. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).
  • Is the staff neat and clean? Are they polite and helpful?
  • Is the facility clean?
  • Are there separate areas for dogs and cats?
  • Ask to see an exam room. Ask to see the operating rooms and recovery area. Where are pets kept after surgery? The areas should be spotless, organized, and free of clutter.
  • Is the equipment clean and in good working order?
  • Are the animals calm, safe and comfortable?

A Cat Friendly Practice®️

Cats have unique physical and behavioral needs. See how you and your cat can benefit from A Cat Friendly Practice®.

Something Just Doesn’t Feel Right

You’ve checked the vet’s credentials. He or she has excellent references. The hospital passed your inspection. The vet is certified. However, something just doesn’t feel right. Does your pet seem unusually nervous around the vet? Maybe you don’t like the way the vet or technician handled your pet. Perhaps the vet says there is nothing wrong with your pet. You disagree with the vet. Run for your pet’s life. Nobody will judge you. Choosing a reputable vet and clinic is important, because, only you know what’s best for your pet. We hope the resources below will help you find your “Dr. DooLittle”.