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How to choose the right vet for your pet

When you move to a new town it is difficult to determine who would be the best choice for your personal doctor. You need to check references and ask people you never met for their opinion.

You have a similar problem when you must choose a veterinarian for your pet. One of the most important choices a pet

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owner must make is where to take their pet when it needs medical attention.  The fact is that neither doctors nor pet hospitals are all highly desirable.

There are several key criteria that must be looked into and evaluated when making an informed decision about the veterinary hospital you are going to trust your pet with.  Location is clearly a huge influence towards what location to choose, but you shouldn’t choose a hospital just because it is the closest one.  If you are willing to go a few extra miles and you may find a place that you are more comfortable in and the extra trip may even save you some money.


So it’s important to do your research on the staff, but what to look for?  Are they licensed or certified as veterinary technicians?  These technicians, much like a registered nurse, will be spending more time with your pet than any other employee so be sure that they are both experienced and informed.  Watch out for hospitals that hire technicians without credentials to save money.  Often these individuals are trained as they go and there is no guarantee or legislation that forces a hospital to choose experienced veterinary technicians. 


Most veterinary hospitals have evening hours to provide service for working people.  This is critical especially if your pet has a chronic disease, has a prescription or needs regular check-ups for its condition.  Also some sites may have 24 hour care and emergency services while others only provide referral to other sites for these needs.  Always be prepared for the worst and hope for the best.  Learn where to get emergency services and be prepared.


Another concern may be the clientele.  Hospitals that only serve cats are beginning to become a popular choice.  Not having to worry about hyper barking dogs causing your skittish cat to become stressed and aggravated can be a huge benefit.


One doctor practices versus multi doctor practices are another concern.  Often times having only one doctor leads to a greater sense of intimacy and consistency when visiting the vet. Always dealing with the same doctor can be reassuring but it also has its disadvantages.  Single doctor practices often lead to limitations.  Limitations in amount of open time as well as the number of services that can be offered may start to add up.  What happens when the doctor goes on vacation or leaves for conferences?  Will the whole hospital have to shut down until the doctor’s return?


Looking at multi-doctor hospitals it is always a good plan to discover any of the special interests that the veterinarians may have.  Often a general practice veterinarian will be knowledgeable in a specific discipline like orthopedics, dermatology, behavior or acupuncture without possessing the “specialty” accreditation for that area.  This may be an excellent way to save some money and a trip to a specialist should you find your pet needing that particular service.


Starting your search for a veterinary hospital is as simple as looking through the phone book to see what’s available.  You are sure to find a great selection under the “veterinarians” category.  Just glance through the ads and see if any of them pop out at you.  Look at office hours, doctor’s names, etc.  If a website is available be sure you check it out!


Another choice method for finding a veterinary hospital is simply to ask others.  Where are your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers taking their animals?  Do they relate any positive or negative experiences about a certain location?  Ask them about the staff and if they are staying at the hospital or moving on.  If there are new people working at every visit this should signal a huge warning light!  Try and find a hospital that has a lot of long-term employees.  Knowing that you will be dealing with the same people year after year is often a great comfort.


Chihuahua Town
Phone: 815.678.7531