Caring for your pet requires more than simply filling their food or water bowl. Our pets, just like us, need quality healthcare from a trustworthy provider.
Whether it is routine care, a check-up, or something more serious, having a reputable vet nearby is essential for ensuring your pet has the best care.
While finding a vet close to your home may seem simple, you certainly don’t want to choose the wrong professional for the job.
Much like you would find your own doctor, finding a vet for your beloved pet is a process that should be completed with care.
Tips for Choosing the Right Vet
Knowing where to start can feel like a challenge – or at the very least, a bit confusing. This is especially true if you are welcoming your very first pet into your life.
Luckily, there are little steps you can take to ensure you choose a vet that is not only available but can provide quality and trustworthy healthcare for the newest addition to your family.
These steps show you how to find the right vet without having to travel too far.
1. List Your Local Veterinarians
To start off with, you need to make a list of local veterinarians near you. When searching for them, make sure to note down the clinic address, website, and contact details, so you can use this to contact them in the future. Below are some tips on searching for a local veterinarian.
Referrals & Recommendations
Word of mouth is often a great way to find a local veterinarian near you. Ask your family and friends for referrals and recommendations. Many people have pets, so it’s likely you’ll know someone who uses a veterinarian near you. Ask them about it, the care they receive, and if they would recommend it to you. Often, people go off others’ recommendations as if someone you know uses it, it’s likely to be good and reliable.
Do a Google Search
One of the easiest ways to find local vets near you is to simply use Google to search for them. Just type in “veterinarian near me” and it will come up with any near to your location. It’s also a great tool to use as it often shows a map, to display where each one is, so you can see how near or far away it is to you.
Use a Vet Near Me Finder
Another great way to find veterinarians near you is to use vet near me finder search. When doing your search, have a look at which ones have websites and contact details and also which ones give off a better feel. Make a list of each place and details about them, so it can help you narrow them down.
Again, make a list of any recommendations you are given or vet near me search and then you can always search these on Google, and take a better look at them yourself.
2. Factors to Consider
Now that you’ve done some research and found a list of vets near to you, in order to give you a better idea of what they can provide for your pet and the type of care they can receive, it’s time to think about some key factors. It’s not just about what they can provide for your pet, but it’s also about what is most convenient and suits your needs and requirements best. Below are some key factors to consider.
Once you’ve narrowed your list down, have a look at the ones that are near to your location. You don’t want a vet’s practice that is miles away and hard to get to. You need something that is nearby and convenient. Also, think about when in an emergency and your pet may need urgent care. You don’t want to spend lots of time having to travel to the vets. Distance is a big key factor to think about.
Have a look at the office hours for the vets to make sure they can fit your schedule. If you work full time and need to take your pet to the vet, you want to make sure that you can drop your pet off at a time that suits you, but that also fits in with their opening times. Most vets are open all day from morning to evening, so they should be suitable times to fit around your schedules.
Fees and Payment
A big factor to consider, which may also help you make your decision, is the fees and payment for services and treatments they provide. Some vets may give a care package with certain things included, for a set price. They may also offer additional services for a certain set price too. Have a look at the packages and services they provide and the prices for these. Also, compare the prices and what comes with the packages to other vets near you. Have a think about which is the best value for money and which ones fit within your budget, whilst still giving your pet the care it needs.
Consider if you require any additional and extra services for your pet. There may be certain things you want or need for your pet, so have a look at which vets can cater to these needs. Very often, vet practices will provide additional and extra services, for certain animals which you can pay for as an extra. This is a good thing to consider, in case they may ever need it.
3. Read Up on Reviews
Now you’ve considered which of the local vets meet your needs and requirements the best, it can be hard to decide which ones are the best for you. But from the points above, you should’ve been able to narrow it down to a few local vets that meet your pet needs. So now, read up on reviews on the remaining vets, to help get a better idea of them.
Very often, the websites of vets will have reviews, so you can take a look at these to get a better idea of the vets and how other people feel. As well as their main website, you can also use Google to search for reviews.
Type into Google the vet’s practice name and reviews, and it should display websites with these on. Very often, by looking at review websites, you will get an honest opinion. Whereas, if you were to use the vet’s practice website, they will only show their excellent reviews.
As well as Google, you can also look at their social media channels as people will also leave reviews on here too. By looking at their social media channels too, can give you a better idea of the vets and can sometimes show off some of the key parts of the vet’s practice.
4. List Your Important Questions
If you’ve managed to narrow it down to some of your local vets that you like the look of, it’s time to think about questions you want to ask them. Create a generic list of questions, relating to your pet’s care, that you can ask each vet. From this, you can gather a better idea of which one meets your needs better and eliminate any that don’t. Below are some ideas of questions to ask, in relation to your pet’s care.
What Animals Do they Treat?
Firstly, ask what animals they treat as some pets will need specialist care and vets. Have a think about the pet you have and if the vets can treat them and give them any medical care, they may need. If not, then you need to look at specialist vets that cater for this and look into these instead.
What Services are Provided?
Animals can have a wide range of care options and needs, so ask what services the vets provide for you. You want to make sure that your pet can get all the care they may require when they need it. If you’re unsure of what your pet may need, do some research to see what the basic care and needs are for that animal. Below is a list of some of the basic care services that your pet may need, so look out for these when looking on the websites.
Preventative Care, Internal Medicine, Senior Wellness, Surgery, Dental Care, Radiology/Ultrasound, Laser Therapy, and Pain Therapy.
Do they Have an Emergency Department?
Sometimes, accidents can happen, leaving your pet in need of emergency medical attention. A bit like us humans, we would take ourselves to the emergency department at the hospital when in need of urgent medical attention and care. So, pets also need the same care. At any time, your pet could injure themselves or become unwell. When looking into your local vets, have a look at if they have an emergency department and can provide emergency care as and when needed.
Can they Give Vaccinations?
A lot of animals need their vaccinations in order to keep healthy and prevent any medical issues in the future. The vets providing and giving the vaccinations are an ideal part of the care package to have, so find out if the vets can provide these for your pet.
Are there Any Additional Services?
Whilst you may get a lot provided with the care packages available to have to think of if your pet requires any specific services. You may already know of some underlying conditions your pet has or you may have your own specific needs. Have a look on the website or talk to the vets, to see if they can meet these needs or just make a general inquiry on if they provide additional services.
Do they Provide Dental Services?
As well as the general care of your pet, it’s also important you look after their teeth too. Have a think about if the vets provide dental services with their care packages, as this is a great extra to have for your pets, to ensure they’re getting an all you’d care.
5. Visit the Clinic
Now you’ve had a think of the questions you want to know, it’s time to make an appointment and see it for yourself. By going in it will give you a much better feel and idea for the vets. It also gives you a chance to meet the team and those that will look at your pets and care for them. By meeting them, it can give you a better idea of if you’d want to use them or not.
Give the vets practice a call to arrange an appointment, to simply come and look at the vets. Explain about your pet, the animal they are, and any specific care they need to ensure that they can meet these requirements. Also, whilst you’re on the phone with them, take this opportunity to ask them questions from above that haven’t been answered.
Meet the Team
Once you’ve arranged an appointment, it’s time to go in and meet the care team that will deal with your pet’s care. This is a great chance to get to know them and ask questions you might have. It’s important to be as clear as possible with the type of animal you have and any special requirements they have, so the team can ensure you that they can care for them.
Take a Tour
Have a look around the vets and get a better feel for it. You may not be able to see everything and behind the scenes, they may show you the treatment and examination rooms and where your pet may stay if they have to stay overnight. This can just give a bit of reassurance and give you a better idea.
6. Finally: Decision Time
Now you’ve taken some time to meet the team and look around the vet’s practice, it’s decision time. We’ve looked at how to research and find your local veterinarians, thought about the important questions you need to consider and ask, looking into some key factors to consider, read up on honest reviews, and then look for yourself by booking an appointment.
All of these things will help you narrow down the list of vets and in the end, help you decide the best one for you, that is still local.