Choosing your Veterinarian and Clinic
How on earth do you choose a vet or clinic? Or perhaps how do you NOT choose your vet or vet clinic.
Perhaps your neighbour down the road goes to a vet, and you’ll go too because they seem like good people?
Finding a great vet and vet clinic is so important for you and your pets. It’s so important to establish a long lasting and honest relationship so you know that every time you take your pet to the vets you are getting gold standard care and treatment.
So where do you start?
I can tell you that looking in the yellow pages or on the internet and choosing the cheapest or closest clinic will potentially lead to disaster! Cheap generally (but not always) equates to exactly what you’ll get, lower paid staff, poor facilities and below standard care. You can find clinics with a beautiful reception and nice façade, but behind the walls the patients aren’t getting looked after. And if I know you, you’ll want the absolute best care you can possibly get for your pet.
There is always some debate that vet clinics and veterinary treatment is expensive, but I am here to tell you that you generally get what you pay for. If you are paying more for your veterinary care then you are generally paying for a more qualified, more up to date vet and you are coming to a facility that puts patient care first and has the best and most up to date equipment possible. If you or your loved ones went to the hospital I’m quite sure you’d want the doctor with the most experience and the best technology possible. I encourage you to want this for your pet as well.
So here’s where you need to do some research. Ask around, if you’ve got friends that have been using vets for years then that’s often a good sign – but just be aware that once again, a pretty reception or a friendly façade doesn’t mean best treatment for your pets. So you need to start asking questions and having a good look at a vet clinics website.
Here are some key areas to look at
1. Vet profiles – have a good look at these, have they done extra study, are they interested in specific things. The vets that do extra study and courses are going to be more up to date with all the new treatments available
2. I probably should have mentioned – do they even have a website? In this day and age a website is a key marketing and communication feature, so if there’s no website then they probably aren’t very interested in keeping in touch with you. Do they have a facebook page? Again a great way to keep in touch with clients
3. Do they offer extra services? Such as puppy school or physiotherapy. Vet clinics that really care are always wanting to offer extra services to put their clients and pets first
4. Are they friendly on the phone! Give the clinic that you chose a call and have a chat to them, are they interested in you or are you just another voice at the end of the phone. You want a clinic that loves to hear from you and remembers your name
5. Go and have a look at the clinic, if they are proud and happy with the hospital they have set up then they should only be too happy to show you around – although I would be kind and ring forward first, as vet clinics are busy places and sometimes its not possible if there are surgeries going on.
6. When you have a look around, are there nice cages for you pets to sit/sleep in? Are there separate dog and cat areas? Does it look clean and tidy? Do they tell you about all their cool equipment?
7. Are the consultation times long enough? You don’t want go somewhere where you are rushed in and out. You want to have time to chat to your vet and time for your vet to thoroughly exam your pet. Ideally you want somewhere that has a minimum of 15 minutes allocated, but ideally 20-30minutes
8. Is your chosen vet approachable and honest? Now as much as we would love to, we don’t know everything! So you want someone who will tell you when they don’t know the answer to something, and then take the time to go and find the answer for you. You want a vet that listens and genuinely has a care for you and your animal
9. Do they make follow-up calls? After a consultation or surgery does the vet clinic give you a call and make sure your pet is ok? This is such an important part of communication for a vet clinic and an opportunity also for you to ask any unanswered questions
I hope this helps you to chose an amazing vet and vet clinic so you can have gold standard care every single visit.