You've brought home a new pet. It's time to find a veterinarian who can provide him with the care he requires and deserves. Where do we begin? Our Rabun County vets offer some advice on things to think about.
How do I find a vet for my pet?
You’ve got a new four-legged bundle of joy in the family (or you need to look for a new vet). There are lots to consider when it comes to finding qualified, appropriate medical care for your pup.
Luckily, our Rabun County vets can share some valuable advice on how to find the right veterinarian for your pet.
Ask Fellow Pet Parents & The Pet Community
Begin with people you already know in your neighborhood. Who do they hire as a veterinarian, and why? What characteristics persuaded them that this was the right place for them? Inquire of friends, family, groomers, and even other pet owners in obedience classes or at the pet park.
We all love our fur babies, so you’ll likely find interesting and varied opinions, valuable information - and maybe even important factors you hadn’t thought of considering.
Read Online Reviews
It's time to get to work on the case. When it's time to find a new veterinarian, Google and social media can be your best friends. What do their website, social media channels, and Google My Business profiles say about them?
Are the veterinarians, in the opinion of their clients, attentive, punctual, knowledgeable, and compassionate? Is it true that they genuinely care about their patients? Is their front-desk staff courteous and quick to respond?
While the practice may have one or two unhappy clients, persistent complaints that indicate a pattern of poor service, unprofessionalism, or other issues should be taken seriously. Look for responses to reviews as well - is the practice responsive to complaints, and are questions or concerns addressed promptly?
An active presence online and on social media may indicate the vets and staff will be similarly responsive in person.
Visit the Facility
Key indicators to pay attention to the outside and indoors include:
Practical considerations like location, parking, and accessibility may be at the forefront of your mind. Is it simple for you to get to the office? Is the location well-kept and easily accessible? Is it safe and convenient to park? Is the office in a secure location?
Go during the times you’ll most likely be visiting, as this is the only way you’ll be able to find out if surprise factors such as traffic congestion or scarce parking around the office make it a no-go.
You’ll likely spend a significant amount of time in the waiting room during your visits. Is the waiting area clean and comfortable enough to sit in? Is the general environment relaxed?
Don’t forget to ask about wait times, as a full waiting room may indicate multiple veterinary emergencies that day, not necessarily long waits.
A list of questions you may want to ask during your visit:
What are your hours?
Are the office hours convenient for you? Your pet will need preventive care, vaccinations, and regularly scheduled exams, so the practice’s hours must mesh with your schedule.
What equipment do you have onsite?
Does the practice have advanced specialized equipment, such as diagnostic imaging technology onsite?
Are tests or treatments outsourced?
Which tests can be performed in the hospital or office, and which must be sent to a third-party lab? We run a variety of tests in our in-house lab at Rabun Animal Hospital, from complete blood counts to parasite tests and cytology to fecal exams, blood chemistry panels, and more.
Which services do you offer?
As your pet reaches developmental milestones, comprehensive services will become increasingly important. Our full-service veterinary hospital offers everything your dog needs as he grows, from Wellness Plans, vaccinations, and preventive care to dentistry, surgery, and geriatric care.
Check Qualifications & Training
This is where choosing the right vet is similar to shopping for other services. Is the vet you’re considering licensed in the U.S. and their state?
Do people working at the hospital (such as registered veterinary technicians) hold licenses? Ask to see these, or contact your state’s board of veterinary medicine for this information.
Board-certified specialists are a bonus. These professionals have completed intensive training in veterinary medicine. A specialist can be a board-certified internist who diagnoses and treats challenging cases involving internal organ disorders, for example.
Assess Vet’s Communication Style
The bedside manner and communication style of your veterinarian are critical in establishing a relaxed, honest, and comfortable relationship with the people who will be caring for your pet's medical needs. Whether you're coming in for a routine exam or learning that your pet may require surgery, professionalism, punctuality, and compassion are essential.
What are the different types of service fees? When comparing prices, keep in mind that one veterinarian's total may include post-operative painkiller medication, anesthesia, and monitoring, while another veterinarian's total may not, so ask for procedure totals. Because each animal hospital is different, its overhead costs will vary.
Leaving Your Current Vet?
Many patients leave a veterinary clinic because they believe there are communication or service issues. If this is the case, send an email or a letter to your current clinic's staff. Though this may feel awkward at first, it may help to start a conversation and give the veterinarian a chance to respond. Many veterinarians will gladly refer you elsewhere if you are unable to reach an agreement.
If you're looking for a new veterinarian, now is a great time to meet the Poster Veterinary Associates staff and veterinarians. Until January 31, 2021, we're offering a free New Patient Exam (excluding vaccinations).
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.