Dog getting a veterinary exam

You’re carefully selecting the best food, the best toys, the best bed and more. Have you thought about how to find the right veterinarian for your pet?

Where to Look

Research veterinarians in your area online and by getting referrals from pet-owning friends and relatives. Look online, and check your state’s veterinary association for ideas. Keep in mind that reviews from people you know are often more valid than some of the reviews you might see online, and that online reviews don’t always capture the whole picture.

When to Look

Start thinking about what veterinarian you’re going to use before you get a new pet. This still holds true if you already have a pet and you’re looking to move. It is best if you have a relationship with a veterinary practice before your pet becomes ill or has an emergency.

How to Look

In the end, the most important thing to keep in mind is go with your gut. You’re on the brink of forming a long-term relationship, so the same criteria that you would use in selecting your own doctor will come in handy. This typically includes:

  • location
  • office hours (availability of appointments and what services, if any, are available in emergencies)
  • forms of payment accepted
  • the range of services offered
  • if the philosophy and personality of doctors and staff meshes with your own

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Call with questions, and you may also want to check the practice out in person. You may want to visit several places before making a final decision.

Once you’ve chosen your new veterinarian, set up an appointment. Make sure to ask about any forms you might need to fill out ahead of time. You will also want to bring your pet’s prior medical records or arrange to have them sent to the new practice.

Congratulations on doing yet one more thing to ensure your pet lives their very best life with you!