10 tips to pick a top Vet
Frequency of visits
In your dog’s lifetime they will visit the vet annually for their check-up and vaccinations, and if there are ever any accidents or illnesses that happen. Some might even visit as often as every six weeks to get their nails clipped, their anal glands emptied or to get worm and flea treatments. Some dogs on chronic medication might go even more regular to have their check-ups and prescriptions refilled.
It does not matter how often you do visit the vet, it is very important to make sure you pick an animal care giver that are professional, responsible and above all that you and your animal feels comfortable with. If you pick the right person, they will become part of your dog’s care team. Once you found someone you are happy with and you stick to them, they will be able to get to know your dog. This has the benefit that if someone knows what your dog is like, they will be able to tell if he or she is off form or if lumps and bumps grew and needs to be removed. So how do you go about to pick a good veterinary for your dog?
Pick an experienced professional.
Veterinary students have to graduate in university. After this they have to gain experience. Although a vet freshly out of university might know all the newest technologies, they do not have the years of experience that an older practising veterinarian will have. It is one thing to learn about something, but another thing to deal with what you have learned on a daily basis in reality. Newly qualified veterinarians might mistakenly misdiagnose. There is no shame in asking how many years experience your potential vet has before signing up. If a vet has qualified over 20 years ago, do ask if they have had any continuing education to stay up to date. The sign of a good veterinarian is that person’s willingness to learn, listen and adapt. This requires constant adding to their skills and updating and changing their techniques as new discoveries are made in veterinary medicine on an ongoing basis.
There are many niche directions a veterinary can go into. For example a large animal practitioner will work with farm animals such as cattle, horses and sheep. A Zoo practitioner will work with reptiles, mammals and birds that you will typically find in a zoo.
There are also veterinarians that work in academic settings such as universities where they teach other students in the subjects of animal care. Others are researchers or even industrial veterinarians that monitor abattoirs and butchers, making sure the animals in the food chain are healthy and safe for consumption. There are even military vets that take care of police and military animals used in the line of duty.
A small animal practitioner will specialise and work just with small companion animals like cats and dogs. A few of them will also work with hamsters, rats, snakes, birds and rabbits. Some people will be a mixed animal practitioner, working with both small and large animals. But you will want to look for a veterinarian that have specialised in the small animal field with as many years experience as possible.
Personality and personnel
When you take your dog for a vet’s visit, observe the reaction that your dog has. Most dogs find it terrifying at the best of times, but you will be able to tell, within that situation if you dog is on a comfortable level.
Are the staff welcoming and understanding? Do they give special attention and care to your pet and try to make them feel as relaxed and welcome as possible? When you go in to see the vet, does he have time to listen to your concerns and show genuine interest and love for your pet? A veterinary surrounds him or herself with like minded staff. If the vet’s first priority is the care and comfort of your dog, it will be instilled on staff who will carry that ethos through. Positive feelings rub off and your dog will for certain pick up on any negativity. Likewise they will also pick up if a person is truly and genuinely interested in their well-being. Keep searching if you find an animal caregiver that both you and your dog feels happy with. Even if they charge that little bit extra, you want someone calm and assertive, yet compassionate and understanding that you know will try every avenue before recommending you put your dog to sleep.
A good friendly environment that makes you feel comfortable the minute that you walk in says a lot about what the rest of the place and staff are like. Go with your first gut instinct when you enter the practise for the first time and observe how you feel walking in and also observe how your dog reacts. This will tell you a lot. Is there a little waiting area where it is encouraged for your pet to jump on your lap if he or she wants to? Is there a little watering area where they can have a drink if they need? Is it pet friendly and easily cleaned if someone lifts the leg on the chair?
Make sure your vet is on call 24 hours or have a procedure in place if he or she takes time off that they have someone to fill in for them. Do they pick up the phone when you call, or call back if the voice mail service is activated?
Check if they offer a large variety of services other than just vaccinations and sterilization.
Equipment on the facility. Do they have an xray machine, ultrasound, dentistry, in-house lab tests, IV pumps, blood pressure, and eye pressure monitoring?
Reputation Ask around. If your friends and family has good experiences and recommends a certain veterinarian, make a first visit appointment and go and see for yourself.
Love for animals. Make sure that the veterinary care giver you pick for your dog is in it not just for the money but also for the love of animals. It is easy to become so caught up in the job that you lose the love for the reason why you started out. Observe the time and effort spent on your dog before making your final decision.
Ask your dog! We don’t mean this literally. Bur you can tell a lot by looking at how your dog reacts. Nobody knows your dog’s preferences and manners better than you. It is true as for humans that we don’t all like each other even if there is nothing wrong with that person but merely a clash of personalities, that dog’s don’t like some people for whatever reason. Make sure your dog is happy and comfortable with the person you will entrust their care with in times of need.