How To Choose A Veterinarian

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One of the challenges that a new dog owner faces is the choice of a veterinarian for their new pet dog or proposed pet dog.  This choice is sometimes more challenging than it would seem.  You need a veterinarian with whom you and your pet have confidence and feel at home with.  It is always better to find a veterinarian, even before you acquire your pet. The veterinarian can give you invaluable advice and help you select a pet that is suitable for your needs.

Different Practices.
One of the first choices to make when selecting your veterinarian is to choose the type of veterinarian you want.  What do I mean by type?  Well veterinarians work or practice in different types of clinics or practices.  The type of practice they are in, influences the focus of the veterinarian.  Here are those types of practices that attend to animals that are considered companion animals:

A Small Animal Practice: The veterinarians in these clinics or practices work primarily with dogs and cats, which are the most common small animals. Other small animals such as reptiles, birds and those that fit into a pocket are also catered for.
A Mixed Animal Practice: These practices cater for all classes of animals. The classes include economic animals such as pigs chicken etc, farm animals such as horses etc along with companion animals such as dogs and cats. These practices are more commonly located outside the big cities and within farming communities.
An Emergency Clinic: These are specialty practices, which are set up for the sole purpose of providing care to animals at all times of the day, when the ordinary veterinarian clinics are unavailable or for procedures that cannot be handled by a typical, regular clinics.  Some tests requiring specialized equipment.
Exotic Only Practices: As the name implies these practices, provide care for those animals that are considered exotic.  These would include animals such as lions, crocodiles, certain reptiles, birds and anything else.
Single Animal Practices: these practices treat only one type of animal i.e., dogs, cats or even horses.

Other Factors
Some of these practices will offer mobile treatment services. The veterinarian will travel to where the animal is, that needs treatment.  The single animal or species practices have veterinarians that have specialized in that single animal and this tends to give them a greater depth of knowledge when it comes to the animal in question.

Choosing a practice with multiple doctors has the advantage of making a wider range of knowledge and skills available to you.  In a number of practices, there are doctors having different specialties.  This specialized interest or knowledge is then available to the patients of all of the doctors in the practice.

You should not use the veterinarian’s fee to choose which veterinarian to use as they usually have differing structures on which they base their fees. What you need to know, are the methods of payment they accept along with whether they give credit terms?

Make yourself familiar with the services the veterinarian offers and take a look at the veterinarian’s facility.

Meeting and picking which veterinarian, inside the practice, should be one of the highest priorities on your list.  Do you and your veterinarian have the same feelings, on certain matters i.e. vaccines, spaying and/ neutering?  Do you see eye to eye and get along?  You’re going to have a relationship with this person, for the life of your pet.  Make sure that you feel comfortable with the person, as well.
Assurance that all of your needs are met should be your deciding factor.  There is no need to settle on one veterinarian or practice.  Be comfortable with your decision, all the way around.


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