6 basic things to look for when choosing a new veterinarian

I cannot overstate the importance of having a good veterinarian. Nor can I overstate the importance of developing a relationship with your vet before there’s an emergency. After all, do you really want to entrust your precious pup with someone you barely know?

Friends... no!

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So, how do you avoid this predicament? Find a good veterinarian for your regular checkups, and then you’ll have someone to count on when times get tough.

Trust me, it’s worth it… even if it means you will have a few awkward conversations about whether you’re brushing your pup’s teeth or giving her too many treats.

Not eating right

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You may be wondering how to choose the right veterinarian. After all, how do you know when you’ve found a good one? Sometimes, it can be hard to tell when you’ve got a keeper or when it’s time to move on.

Lucky for you, I’ve got a few tips to share.

Here are six things to look for when you’re searching for a veterinary practice… if it meets these threshold requirements, then you can start evaluating it on a more advanced level.

First, your vet should like animals.

Franco & a cat

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Also, your vet should like the species of animal you need him to treat.

Jeff loves puppies

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The practice should have a friendly and helpful staff. (Once, as one of the technicians took Bella to the back, I heard another staff member exclaim, “Oh, it’s Bella! I love her!” I was already a fan , but this just delighted me to no end.)

Dug loves you.

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Your vet should be a smart cookie.

Dr. Cox is brilliant

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If possible, your vet should be attractive.

Mindy Project

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Your vet should listen to your concerns and discuss your options with you. Ideally, your vet will talk with you rather than at you. She won’t rush you out of the room, and will follow up as needed. (I can’t tell you how thankful I am that my vet follows up on serious issues and makes sure that the pups are doing okay.) Finally, a good vet will work with you to find a solution that works for you and your pups instead of just taking a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment.

As you wish

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Obviously, I’m not an expert on what makes a good vet. However, I can tell you what it feels like to have a good relationship with your vet. I like our vets so much that I drive half an hour to get to them. Along the way, I pass many other veterinary practices, but none of them are my vet. I feel comfortable there, even though some visits are more stressful than others. We’ve developed a pretty good rapport over the years, which has come in handy now that Bella has become a frequent flier. Thank goodness they’re receptive to my constant phone calls.

So, if you’ve found a practice that satisfies these basic requirements, you’re ready to take your analysis to the next level. For some real tips on choosing a veterinarian, check out these great resources. (These too.) (And these.) (Oh, and these.) As you can see, smarter people than me have tackled this question. Just consider me a shepherd guiding you to useful information.

Eye roll

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Too much? Sorry.

Anyway… do you have any tips for finding a good vet? Have you encountered any challenges when searching for your veterinary match? Share them in the comments!

Oh, and I was totally kidding about that attractive thing.

Lucille winking.

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22 thoughts on “6 basic things to look for when choosing a new veterinarian

  1. Attractive, huh? Actually, #petchat today was on the same topic, I came up with what I call the 4Cs of choosing a veterinarian: Credentials, competence, compassion, communication. Hubby too thought it should include cuteness, but that would mean our vet would be out, which would be too bad.
    Jana Rade recently posted..Memories Of Jasmine: Best Buddies

    • Oh, man! I forgot about #petchat this week, but I wish I hadn’t. I had a lot of interaction with my vet this weekend, which got me thinking about the topic – I’ll have to go back and see what everyone said.

      I think your 4Cs (plus the secret C of Cuteness) are perfect!

  2. No, you’re spot on here. The biggest issue for me is having a vet that listens to me, understands my concerns and will either alleviate my fears or find a different solution. And I have no qualms changing vets if they fail to live up to my expectations, just as I have no problem changing Doctors for myself. 🙂
    Jodi recently posted..Willy or Won’t He?

  3. Mom used to think all vets were created equal until we met her friend who is a vet and showed us the difference. We went through many vets when we moved back from Europe before we found a place that we love and can trust. We have to drive 1/2 an hour too, but it is well worth it and we know they love us and we can trust them! It is so important to have the right vet!
    emma recently posted..Flower Time | GBGV | Mischief Monday

  4. Great advice 🙂 I love my vet, who also used to be my boss lol. I’ve also worked with some vets that I just couldn’t stand… sorry but it’s true. When you say “Finally, a good vet will work with you to find a solution that works for you and your pups instead of just taking a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment.”… one vet I worked with just did not get this!
    Ann Paws recently posted..Choosing Heartworm Medicine for Dogs and Cats

  5. Finding the right vet is tough – your tips are good – having that rapport with the vet is critical. I too drive 20 minutes to get to our vet…note the ‘our’, yes I feel proprietary. It must have been fun writing this and capturing just the right image – well done!

  6. Great post – love the perfect gifs. Esp’y the “as you wish” gif. If only our vet looked like Wesley, he’d be perfect.
    The liking animals and friendly staff – at least to the pets; I don’t care as much if they’re friendly to me – are the key ones for me. Abby used to LOVE to go to the vet cuz they treated her like the rock star that she was.
    Jackie Bouchard recently posted..Monday Mischief: Cats Cookies for People for our Pup

  7. I’m still bouncing around looking for the perfect vet. We’ve been to six practices and even more doctors! Four of the clinics had rotating vets, so we could go and never have the same person twice. Glad you found yours, it gives me hope to keep looking.
    Poochie Project recently posted..Introducing… Kyle!

    • You’ll find the one! We originally took Bella to one of those larger clinics and hardly saw the same doctor twice. I got lucky because I finally found one I really liked and made all of my appointments with him from then on out if possible. Then, he left to open his own practice and I just followed right along! 🙂

  8. Great post! You are so right and people should find a great vet before an emergency. I am one of those techs that tell the dog I love them! Are clients come back to us because we have a caring staff and we have been there forever with little turn around. I have been at the clinic since it has opened 11 years ago and now it’s sad because are original clients pets are getting older and sick.

  9. I’m lucky to have a great vet now. But my first vet ever was a nightmare.

    Agatha and Christie returned from their spay appointment infested with fleas and smelling of urine. Christie developed an infection caused by the metal sutures the vet used. That free spay when we adopted them cost us thousands of dollars.

    But I did learn a lot about what kind of vet I didn’t want.
    Pamela recently posted..Dog Kayaking – Wordless Wednesday

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