Finding a veterinarian for your pet is a vital part of your pets health. So, you may ask yourself, where do I start? To help you over the hurdle, here are steps to assist you and your pet.
- Word of mouth is a great way to find a veterinarian.
- Ask friends, family members, co-workers and neighbors what veterinarian they use.
- Humane societies, animal shelters and animal rescue organizations are a fantastic way to find a vet.
- Social media ex: Facebook can provide you with links to animal hospitals, veterinarians and you can view posts from other pet owners.
- On the internet you can find veterinarians by simply typing, how to find a vet?
- Does the clinic have a clean environment?
- Are the staff friendly and do they address the pets and owners by name?
- Do they make you feel rushed or welcomed?
- Do the doctors and staff introduce themselves properly?
- Does the veterinarian and staff have great interpersonal skills?
What to expect at your pets first visit to the vets: Make sure you call ahead of time and book your pets appointment. At this time, the doctor will probably not be able to speak with you because he/she will be extremely busy with their scheduled patients. Your first contact will be with the receptionist who will book your appointment. Have your pet’s medical history ready in case you are asked any unforeseen questions. This is a good time to ask about fees, payments and emergency hours. It is important to have a veterinarian that accepts after hour emergency calls. Upon your arrival, you will be greeted by the receptionist/assistant. You may be asked to fill out standard paperwork about your pet’s age, name, sex, medical problems, diet and vaccinations. The technician may weigh your pet and then lead you to a room where you will meet your pet’s doctor for the first time. The veterinarian will then proceed to obtain any medical history from you, regarding your pet. It is important that you tell them everything you know about your pet. If you are coming from another clinic, make sure you have your pet’s medical records with you or the name of the previous clinic so your new vet can obtain your pets health records. Your veterinarian may begin the initial exam by:
- Looking in your pets ears, eyes and mouth
- Check your pets skin for skin irritations, fleas and ticks
- Feel the abdomen for pain, organs and abnormalities
- Genitals for enlargement, discharge and oddity
- Take your pets temperature
- Check for joint pain
After the initial exam your veterinarian may want to run routine blood analysis and ask you about spaying or neutering your pet (if not already done). Your vet will discuss your pet’s necessary vaccinations and will probably give them their updated vaccines. The doctor may advise you on flea and tick control and de-worming your pet. At this time you should be able to see the compassion and love that your doctor has for animals. Does he talk to your pet? Is he reassuring? Has the doctor and staff made you and your pet feel welcomed? Did the doctor take their time with you and your pet? Were your questions or concerns answered? In my opinion, when you are finished your appointment, you should be feeling good about the animal clinic you just left and there will be a business card tucked safely in your wallet with their name, address and phone numbers and a smile on your face for making the right decision. Remember to recommend this veterinarian to your friends, family and co-workers. Lastly, sometimes there is just no cure. Don’t forget that your veterinarian is feeling the pain and anguish too. Just like you, he is human and loves animals too.