Choosing a veterinarian for your pet is as important as choosing a Dr. for yourself and your 2 legged family members. You are choosing them to guide you towards giving your furry family member the best chance at a long, happy and healthy life. Think about that for just a second. This should not be a random decision and keep in mind, our pets don’t have a say in the matter, you are choosing for them. Choose wisely.
We are so lucky in our area to have a lot of fabulous veterinary clinics but there are things to consider and people are passionate about their vet care, as they should be.
Although it’s natural to ask friends and family for their recommendations, this is not always the best practice. It is always best to do your own research and to consider these 5 things.
Personality conflicts. I know it sounds crazy right but if the veterinarian you choose “rubs you the wrong way” or you don’t like their tone, or the receptionists always sound grumpy or or or. Going to the vet and dealing with them when your pet is sick is going to be twice as hard.
Do their beliefs in pet care match yours? For example, if you want to feed your dog or cat a raw food diet and the vet your friend recommended is completely against it, you are always going to be at odds for your pet feeding and instead of treating the issue. If you have decided to Titer test your pet instead of giving the vaccines on the recommended schedule, you will always be in disagreement at that if that is not the veterinarian’s philosophy. Are they open to alternative treatments or not? In short, make sure you choose a vet who knows and agrees with your wishes for pet care.
Office hours. It is important that you pick a vet who is available when you are available. To choose a vet that is only open Monday – Friday 9 – 5 when you work Monday – Friday 9-5 is not going to work. Check their regular hours and make sure that at least for regular visits you can get your pet their easily. It’s also good to find out how they handle or what they recommend for after-hours emergencies.
What medical equipment and services do they offer vs what needs to be referred out? Check to make sure they are able to do basic diagnostic tests in house. X-rays, ultrasounds. basic dentistry, lab tests etc. The more that has to be sent out to be done, the more expensive things can get.
Compare prices and ask questions. Price should never be the main factor when choosing a health care provider for your pet, but the reality of the situation is that it does play a part and it is important that you know upfront. Ask the costs for basic annual care, blood tests, tick and heartworm medication, if you have a young pet that will need spay or neutering, get the approx. cost upfront. If it seems higher than others ask why, their maybe a very good reason for it, but you should know and have the right to ask.
The bottom line! Shop around; you do not have to be a client to ask questions or even go in for a visit to meet the vets and other staff. If any veterinarian says you cannot ask questions or come because you are not a client, I would take that as a red flag that this may not be the right choice for your pet’s health and wellbeing needs.
PRO TIP – the biggest telltale sign that you have found a great health care provider for your pet …. when you take your dog or cat in to “interview” the vet, does the vet and the staff at the clinic take their time getting to know your pet. When you watch the vet and staff interact with the people in the clinic does it give you that warm fuzzy feeling or not?
As always if you have any questions or just want to talk about choosing a vet in our area, please feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org
Morag is the owner and founder of York Regions most trusted premier in-home pet care and dog walking companies. In 2000 she saw a need for an alternative to kennels, catteries for family pets in the area and has always believed that pets are much happier and less stressed staying in their own familiar environment. Morag and her team are all certified in Pet 1st Aid and CPR, she also offers continuous training to her team members through online and hands on pet care and pet behaviour and care courses. Morag has earned her certificate in Professional Pet Sitting, Professional Dog Walking and Canine Attendant training. She has lived in the Newmarket/Aurora area since 1991 is a wife, a mother of 2 adult children and a grandmother of 2 delightful little balls of energy. She has also been owned by fish, birds, mice, rats, cats, dogs, gerbils and guinea pigs and is an advocate for all living creatures. In her spare time she likes to be involved in her community and events travelling, reading and cooking.