It's very exciting to bring a new pet into your home. Now you have to choose a vet that can provide your new cat or dog with the quality care they require and deserve. Today, our Cincinnati vets share some tips on how you can get the best veterinarian for your cat or dog.
How to find a good veterinarian for my cat or dog?
You've just welcomed a new furry family member (or you are looking for a new vet). When looking for the best possible vet for you and your cat or dog who is qualified and can provide the necessary medical veterinary care, there are numerous factors to consider.
Here, our Cincinnati vets provide you with some valuable advice on how you can find the right veterinarian for your pet.
Ask Fellow Pet Owners & The Cat/Dog Community
Start your search by speaking with other pet owners in your area. What veterinarian do they visit, and why? What qualities persuaded them that this was the right veterinarian for them? You can inquire about friends, family, groomers, and even fellow pet parents at a dog park or obedience class.
We all cherish our four-legged friends, so you will probably come across some interesting and varied opinions, valuable information - and maybe even some important elements you haven't thought of considering.
Check Online Reviews
Then you can do a bit of detective work. Google and social media platforms can be your friends when it comes to looking for a new vet. What do the reviews on their website, social media channels, or Google My Business profile say?
Based on what clients say, 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 many practices may have one or two unhappy clients, persistent complaints that show a pattern of poor service, unprofessionalism, or other issues should be taken seriously. Check the reviews for responses - is the practice responsive to complaints, and are questions or concerns addressed promptly?
An active presence online and on social media might mean the vets and staff will be similarly responsive in person.
Visit the Facility
Some key indicators to pay attention to outdoors and indoors are:
Location, parking, and accessibility are probably the first things that come to mind. Is it simple for you to get to work? Is the location clean and easily accessible? Is it safe and convenient to park? Is the office in a secure location?
Visit the office during the times you’ll most likely be scheduling appointments because this is the only way you will be able to find out if surprise factors such as traffic congestion or scarce parking around the office make it a no-go.
During your visits, you'll most likely spend a significant amount of time in the waiting room. Check to see if the waiting area is clean and comfortable to sit in, as well as the overall atmosphere.
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 might want to ask at your visit:
What are your hours?
Are the hours convenient for you? Your cat or dog will require preventive care, vaccinations, and regularly scheduled exams, so it’s important that the practice’s hours are in line with your schedule.
What equipment do you have onsite?
Does the veterinary practice has advanced specialized equipment on site, such as diagnostic imaging technology?
Our Cincinnati facility is equipped with a full-service veterinary laboratory, that allows us to conduct a variety of tests, get fast results, provide an accurate diagnosis and start treatment as quickly as possible.
Are tests or treatments outsourced?
What tests do they have available at the hospital or office, and which ones are outsourced to other facilities? At Hyde Park Veterinary Clinic, we conduct a range of tests in our in-house lab, from bloodwork to parasite tests and ultrasounds, urinalysis, and more.
Which services do you offer?
Comprehensive services will be important as your cat or dog reaches developmental milestones. From wellness exams, vaccinations, and preventive care to dentistry, surgery, and geriatric care, our full-service veterinary hospital offers all the services your furry friend will need as they continue to grow.
Our in-house pharmacy is conveniently stocked with a wide selection of medications and prescription diets, meaning you’ll have quick access to any medications your pets may need while in our care.
Check Training & Qualifications
This is where picking the right vet is comparable to shopping for other services. Is the vet you’re considering licensed to work in the U.S. and in 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.
Specialists who are board-certified are a plus. To become board-certified, these professionals have completed additional years of school and intensive training in a veterinary medicine specialty area (such as surgery, orthopedics, dermatology, and so on).
Evaluate the Vet’s Communication Style
Your veterinarian's communication style and bedside manner are critical in building a comfortable, honest, and relaxed relationship with the people who will be taking care of your cat or dog's medical needs. Whether you're coming in for a routine exam or learning that your pet may need surgery, compassion, punctuality, and professionalism are essential.
How do service fees work? When comparing prices, keep in mind that one veterinarian's total may include post-operative painkiller medication, anesthesia, and monitoring, while another veterinarian's total may not, so ask for procedure totals. Animal hospitals are all different and have different overhead costs.
Leaving Your Current Vet?
Many patients leave a veterinary clinic because of perceived communication or service issues. If you find yourself in this situation, send an email or a letter to the staff at your current clinic. Though it may feel awkward at first, this could start a conversation and allow the veterinarian to respond. If you are unable to reach an agreement, many veterinarians will gladly refer you elsewhere.
If you are searching for a new vet for your kitty or pup, now is a good time to meet the staff and veterinarians at Hyde Park Veterinary Clinic.
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.