Pets are beloved family members and, like their humans, occasionally require medical help for illness, injury, or well-patient preventative care. It’s good to be proactive in creating a health care plan for your pet. This plan revolves around who you will trust as a partner in your pet’s care.
Choosing a Veterinarian
The veterinarian you choose to support your pet is essential, so you’ll want to give it serious consideration. Please don’t wait until your pet has a health crisis or injury to seek medical care. Instead, choose a practice, and begin to build rapport and a relationship with them now.
You can start with an internet search for vets in your area. Peruse their websites, read their reviews, ask about them, call them with your questions, or schedule an in-person interview with them to get the information you need to make the right decision.
When and Where Will Your Vet Be Available to You?
You might start by answering the question, “Where do I find the best vet near me?” While geography is only one of many questions to consider, it’s an important one because if your pet needs medical care, you’ll want to be able to access that care as quickly as possible.
As you shop around for the best vets and practices, be sure to ask for their regular hours of operation as well as their protocols for after hours, nights, weekends, and holidays. Like human children, your pets won’t always get sick or hurt during business hours, so it’s vital to know how to get assistance if you need your vet outside office hours.
What Does the Veterinarian Specialize In?
This might sound like a silly question. Veterinarians are animal doctors, so they specialize in animals, right? Of course. But if your pet is a tarantula, snake, turtle, hamster, or kitten, you won’t want to choose a livestock vet to care for them.
Like human doctors, vets have areas of specialization too. Some animal doctors are general practitioners and care for a wide variety of pets. In contrast, others have much more narrow areas of focus and might deal with only one species or even specific breeds.
You can search for this information on the practice’s website or app but don’t be afraid to call and ask any questions you have.
What About Experience and Credentials?
You’ll want to learn about the background, training, and experience of vets you are considering. You might not care so much if the vet is a rookie with a brand new practice, so long as the training and experience are enough to establish trust.
Ask about licenses, certifications, affiliations, and overall philosophy or approach to pets and medicine. Not only do you want to choose someone properly trained and credentialed, but it’s also crucial that their views and values align with yours.
Recommendations and Reviews
Don’t be shy about doing research. Ask trusted friends and family members that are pet owners to share any input they have about the service and care they’ve received from their vets. Look for reviews for any vet you are considering to see what patients of that clinic have to say about their experiences.
Non-Traditional Veterinarian Care
Feel confident exploring non-traditional veterinarian care for your pet. For example, look into telehealth platforms for your pet’s medical needs. While you might find a local practice you feel comfortable with, what if you’re traveling and your pet needs attention? Or what if you live in an area without easy access to a good vet?
Just like you can now use apps to have a video conference medical check-up for yourself with a top-notch physician, the same services are available for your pets. Do your research, download the app you feel best about, and rest in knowing you’ll have support when and where you need it.
Proactive Pet Care
Your pet counts on you to provide the very best care and quality of life, and part of that is in making sure that medical needs are met. Doing your due diligence in proactively making a health care plan for your pet will assure you that you’re prepared for whatever comes.