You’ve got a new dog or cat in the house. Time to find a vet that can provide the care they need and deserves. Where to start? Our Cleveland vets offer some insight into factors you may want to consider.
How Do I Find A Vet For My Dog Or Cat?
You’ve got a new four-legged bundle of joy in the family (or you need to look for a new vet). There are lots to consider when it comes to finding qualified, appropriate medical care for your pup.
Luckily, our Cleveland vets can share some valuable advice on how to find the right veterinarian for your pet.
Ask Fellow Parents & The Community
Start with people you know in your area. Who do they use for a vet, and why? What qualities convinced them this was the place for them? Ask friends, family, groomers, and even fellow dog or cat parents in an obedience class or at the park.
We all love our fur babies, so you’ll likely find interesting and varied opinions, valuable information - and maybe even important factors you hadn’t thought of considering.
Read Online Reviews
Google and social media can be your friends when it’s time to look for a new vet. What do the reviews on their website, social media channels, or Google My Business profile say?
According to clients, are the vets attentive, punctual, knowledgeable, and compassionate? Do they truly care about their patients? What about their office staff - are they polite and responsive?
While the practice may have one or two unhappy clients, consider it a red flag if you see consistent complaints that indicate a pattern of bad service, unprofessionalism, etc. Also, look for replies to reviews - is the practice responsive to concerns, and are questions or concerns resolved on time?
An active presence online and on social media may indicate the vets and staff will be similarly responsive in person.
Visit the Facility
Key indicators to pay attention to the outside and indoors include:
Practical considerations such as location, parking, and accessibility may be top of mind. Can you get to the office easily? Is the premises clean and accessible? Is parking safe and convenient? Is the office in a safe neighborhood?
Go during the times you’ll most likely be visiting, as this is the only way you’ll be able to find out if surprise factors such as traffic congestion or scarce parking around the office make it a no-go.
You’ll likely spend a significant amount of time in the waiting room during your visits. Is the waiting area clean and comfortable enough to sit in? Is the general environment relaxed?
Don’t forget to ask about wait times, as a full waiting room may indicate multiple veterinary emergencies that day, not necessarily long waits.
A list of questions you may want to ask during your visit:
What are your hours?
Are the office hours convenient for you? Your dog or cat will need preventive care, vaccinations, and regularly scheduled exams, so the practice’s hours must mesh with your schedule.
At Mt. Yonah Animal Hospital, we try to do our best and make time for everyone, no matter your schedule.
What equipment do you have onsite?
Does the practice have advanced specialized equipment, such as diagnostic imaging technology onsite?
Our Cleveland facility is equipped with a full-service veterinary laboratory, which allows us to perform many tests, get quick results, provide a diagnosis and begin treatment as soon as possible.
Are tests or treatments outsourced?
Which tests are available at the hospital or office, and which are outsourced to other facilities?
Which services do you offer?
Comprehensive services will be important as your dog reaches developmental milestones. From Wellness Plans, vaccinations, and preventive care to dentistry, surgery, and geriatric care, our full-service veterinary hospital has all the services your pooch will need as he grows.
You’ll also find convenient services such as boarding, grooming, and cold laser therapy to keep your pet healthy and happy.
Check Qualifications & Training
This is where choosing the right vet is similar to shopping for other services. Is the vet you’re considering licensed in the U.S. and their state?
Do people working at the hospital (such as registered veterinary technicians) hold licenses? Ask to see these, or contact your state’s board of veterinary medicine for this information.
Board-certified specialists are a bonus. These professionals have completed intensive training in veterinary medicine.
Assess Vet’s Communication Style
The vet’s bedside manner and communication style are vital to developing a relaxed, honest and comfortable relationship with the people who will be caring for your pet’s medical needs. Professionalism, punctuality, and compassion are key, whether you’re coming in for a routine exam or finding out your dog may need a surgical procedure.
How are service fees charged? When price shopping, remember that one vet’s price for a given treatment may include post-op painkiller medication, anesthesia, and monitoring, while another vet’s total may not include these necessities, so ask for totals for procedures. Animal hospitals are unique, so will have varying overhead costs.
Leaving Your Current Vet?
Many patients leave a veterinary clinic due to perceived communication issues or problems with service. If that’s the case for you, write an email or letter to the staff at your current clinic. Though this can feel awkward, it may also open dialog and allows the veterinarian an opportunity to respond. If you can’t come to a resolution, many vets are happy to refer you elsewhere.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.