Finding the Right Veterinarian for You

Usually, people get a puppy or kitten first and then they look in the yellow pages for a vet close by or get a recommendation from a friend or family member.

This may work for some people, but it is not the way you should seek out your pet’s next closest friend, the vet.

Finding the right vet for you and your pet should come before “finding the pet.”


Simply because next to you, the vet you choose, more than likely will be with you and your pet “till death you do part.”

I am certain most people do not even think of their vet in those terms, but it is true for most of us.

Like researching for the kind of dog or cat that suits your lifestyle, finding a vet that suites your lifestyle and your pet, requires research, too.

Having a local veterinary clinic close at hand is a relatively new achievement for the veterinary profession. Up until the 1950’s most vets were associated with farm animals and sick pets usually were taken to the vet’s home, if it was a dog or cat.

As we became more urbanized and began having domestic animals in our homes a need for vet care close by became a necessity.

We began adopting millions and millions of pets and with that, grew the complex world of veterinary medicine and as with all things it is not a perfect world.

There are great vets, good vets, interested vets, happy vets, unhappy vets and so-so vets.

The choice is yours and making the right choice requires research.

What should you look for in a vet?

What is it you want?

Take a moment or two to stop and think of what your interests are.

Are you interested in holistic medicine or does the allopathic method of treatment agree with your tastes.

These are some serious considerations to ponder.

If you are leaning toward using both methods, you need to find an open-minded vet that will listen to your points of view.

Research more than one clinic, take your time.

Here are a few things to keep under consideration while you are searching for the right one:

  • Be certain he/she is licensed to practice in your state.

  • Check with the Better Business Bureau to make certain there are no complaints on file.

  • Tour the clinic, is it clean and well organized?

  • Ask friends and/or relatives for some recommendations.

  • What is your feeling about the vet? Does he/she seem nervous, irritable or not interested?

  • Can you stay with your pet during routine exams? Some vets do not let you.

  • If overnight stays are required are the pets monitored during the night? If not, take the pet home to be supervised.

  • Ask questions and expect answers.

  • Are second opinions allowed when major treatment is required?

  • Are the office hours compatible to your working hours?

  • Are they associated with an emergency care clinic?

  • Are they equipped with such things as ex-ray machines, ultra sound and other high tech equipment? Can they handle surgery?

  • Are their charges for routine procedures comparable to other clinics?

  • Are they “pro-dog or pro-cat?” Some vet clinics lean more toward one pet than another. You want a vet that is truly interested in your kind of pet.

  • This may sound silly, but do they have happy voices when they answer the phone? Happy voices mean it is a happy place to work and generally they will treat pets with care and you with respect.

  • Is the vet willing to listen to your feelings and ideas about the care for a problem?

  • Does the clinic staff take “continuing ed” classes in order to be up to date on new treatments and ideas?

  • If your pet is extremely ill and in pain is the clinic in favor of euthanasia? You may not realize this, but some clinics do not believe in it, even in extreme cases.

  • Just because a clinic is close to home, do not rationalize that it is the best one for you.

    We, as humans are selective about the doctors we see, be selective about your vet. Your pet is your companion and should be treated in a similar fashion.

    I agree that this sounds like a lot of work, but you are investing money, time and effort in training your pet.

    So choosing a vet should not be a “spur of the moment” choice, just like finding the right pet should not be a “spur of the moment" decision.

    Independent Thought

    I am a firm believer in veterinarians and I am also a firm believer in saving money whenever possible. By saving money I do not mean skimping on vet care. I mean using common sense in some cases where the actual trip to the vet is not necessary or that I can find ways to make those trips a little less. In that frame of mind I came upon a wonderful book written by a vet that is filled with a great deal of information that every dog owner should have at their fingertips. If you have a spare moment or two, may I suggest you visit this site and see for yourself the information that is offered. It just might be worth your while. Click Here!