Finding the right Vet for your furry family members is as important finding the right Medical Professional for yourself – which is, after all what a Vet is, except that their patients tend to have four legs instead of two. The basic relationship is much the same, and should be based on respect, trust and mutual understanding and most importantly, both you and Rover should be comfortable during a Vet visit.
Somehow dogs seem to know when they’re due a Vet visit, and even if the process of getting them there may be one of bribery and treats, you need to be 100% convinced that once Rover is out the car and under the Vet’s care, that all will be well and that he is in good hands.
So, where to start, and what do you look for.
- Ask for personal recommendations – especially if you have moved to a new area, check out the local Community Facebook pages, or put up a post asking for a referral. You will soon see which local Vets come up as recommended again and again
- Cost, location and opening hours – All three of these are important considerations to take into account.
- Vet fees are not regulated, and more expensive does not always mean better.
- Think about “what if” you needed to get to the Vet in an emergency. An excellent Vet 25kms from you across town may be fine on a Saturday morning for a routine check-up, but when Rover has just eaten your entire stash of Lindt chocolate on a Monday morning, that 25kms will seem a lot further
- Some Vets are open longer in the evenings than others, some charge a surcharge after hours, Sundays and Public Holidays. Make sure you know all this in advance, so there are no nasty surprises when it comes to paying the bill.
- Licensed / Registered – always check. Your Vet’s Certificates and qualifications should be up on display
- Questions – don’t be afraid to ask questions about how they approach treatment, care and aftercare.
How do they handle aftercare visits?
What is included after a procedure regarding medicine and follow up visits?
Who do they refer to for specialist treatment?
A good Vet will understand that you are likely to have lots of questions, and will be patient answering them
- You and Rover must be comfortable – trust your instincts. If you are not convinced, and Rover doesn’t seem comfortable – look elsewhere.
If at all possible, try not to wait until its an emergency to look for a Vet. Do your research beforehand and try to set up a quick visit to see the premises and get a feel for the practice. In most cases you will be able to open up a file and get your details on record.
A Vet that you trust implicitly is a valuable part of responsible pet-parenting