MJ Wixson: How to pick your pet’s veterinarian

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 19, 2023

When it comes to caring for your beloved four-legged companions, choosing the right veterinarian can make all the difference.

As a veterinary professional with years of experience in animal care, I know firsthand the importance of finding a qualified and compassionate veterinarian who can provide exceptional care for your furry friends.

Here are some tips that I recommend to help you choose the best veterinarian for your pet.

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• Seek recommendations from trusted sources

One of the best ways to find a reputable veterinarian is by asking for recommendations from trusted sources, such as friends, family, or coworkers who are pet owners.

They can provide valuable insight into their experiences with local veterinarians, including their communication skills, level of expertise, and overall quality of care.

In addition, you can also consult with other pet professionals such as pet groomers, trainers, or pet supply store employees to get their recommendations.

• Look for a qualified veterinarian

When selecting a veterinarian, it’s important to ensure they are qualified to provide veterinary care. Look for veterinarians who are licensed and accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association, which sets high standards for veterinary care and requires veterinarians to meet rigorous qualifications and undergo regular inspections.

In addition, you can also check if the veterinarian has any specializations or additional certifications in areas such as surgery, internal medicine, or animal behavior.

• Consider location and hours

The location and hours of the veterinarian’s office can be an important factor in your decision. Look for a veterinarian that is conveniently located and has hours that work with your schedule.

Some veterinarians may also offer emergency services or after-hours care for urgent situations.

It’s a good idea to find out if this is available and how it works before you need it.

• Evaluate the clinic’s facilities and services

The clinic’s facilities and services can give you a sense of the quality of care your pet will receive. Look for a clinic that is clean, well-maintained, and has modern equipment and technology.

In addition, consider the range of services offered by the clinic.

This may include preventative care, dental care, surgery, diagnostic testing, and more. The more services offered, the more likely you’ll be able to receive all of your pet’s care in one place.

• Meet with the veterinarian and staff

Meeting with the veterinarian and staff in person can give you a better sense of their communication style, bedside manner, and overall approach to animal care.

During your visit, ask questions about their experience, expertise, and approach to animal care. Pay attention to how the staff interacts with your pet and other animals in the clinic, and look for a clinic that treats all pets with kindness and respect.

• Consider your pet’s needs and personality

Finally, it’s important to consider your pet’s individual needs and personality when choosing a veterinarian. Some pets may be more anxious or fearful of vet visits, and may benefit from a veterinarian who specializes in animal behavior or offers low-stress handling techniques.

In addition, pets with certain health conditions or special needs may require a veterinarian with specialized expertise or facilities.

It’s important to find a veterinarian that is able to provide the appropriate care for your pet’s unique needs.

Choosing the right veterinarian can take time and research, but it’s a decision that can have a significant impact on your pet’s health and well-being.

By following these tips, you can find a veterinarian that provides high-quality care and compassionate service for you and your furry friend.

MJ Wixsom, DVM MS is a best-selling Amazon author who practices at Guardian Animal Medical Center in Flatwoods, Ky. GuardianAnimal.com 606-928-6566