Pet owners must make a bevy of decisions regarding their pets. What to feed their animals, how often to exercise them and how to curtail certain behaviors are a few of the more significant decisions facing pet owners every day.
Choosing a veterinarian is another important decision pet owners must make. But choosing a vet is more than just finding one close to home. The right veterinarian does more than conduct checkups, detect illnesses and prescribe medications. A good veterinarian will make an animal feel comfortable, even during vet visits that tend to be stressful for pets unaccustomed to offices and physical examinations. Pet owners who want the best veterinarian for their pets should consider a host of factors before choosing a vet to treat their animals.
Pet problems do not always happen during working hours on weekdays. If a pet is not feeling well during the day, it can't call its owner on the phone and ask to be taken to the vet. As a result, emergency vet visits are often after working hours when owners arrive home and discover that their pet is sick. When choosing a veterinarian, make sure the vet's schedule is compatible with your own, and that the office hours are flexible. This flexibility reduces the likelihood that you will skip vet visits because they must be scheduled at times that are inconvenient to your own schedule, and it also provides you with peace of mind that your vet can be contacted should an emergency arise.
Some veterinarians specialize in particular animals. For example, equine veterinarians work exclusively with horses. But many veterinarians treat a host of animals, including birds, cats, dogs, and other common domesticated pets. However, some veterinarians are known to be especially effective with certain breeds, even if they still treat various types of animals. Some vets might specialize in treating especially exotic breeds of cat, while others might have a reputation for working especially well with English bulldogs. Owners of purebred dogs or other less common pets might want to find a veterinarian with a track record for treating their particular type of animal. Such vets might be more comfortable with your pet or more familiar with, and therefore quicker to recognize, any ailments that might be common to the breed.
Veterinary care can be expensive, especially when pets are not insured. No pet owner wants to find himself in a position where resources fall short of the money needed to effectively treat a pet. Many veterinarians will work with pet owners to establish a payment plan if owners can't pay for treatment upfront. But don't assume all veterinarians are open to such arrangements. Before choosing a veterinarian, discuss potential payment options should the cost of care one day exceed your resources. This is especially important for owners of exotic pets or purebred dogs, which tend to encounter more unusual ailments that can be costly to treat.
The atmosphere of a veterinary office should be considered as well. If the atmosphere is hostile or unaccommodating, pets are likely to stress out when visiting, making it more difficult for vets to do their job. Look for an atmosphere that aims to put pets at ease. In addition, monitor the interactions between staff and the pets, paying close attention to how your animal is treated on its visit.