Choosing the Right Veterinarian – Your First Office Visit

Once you have scheduled an appointment, it is time to evaluate the office, staff and veterinarian in person. Bad smells and unkempt appearances inside the office may be indicative of substandard care. Observe how the staff responds to you and your pet. You do not want to be left waiting at the front while the staff gossips in the back. The staff at a veterinarian’s office should like animals. Most will want to sweet talk and even hold or pet your animal. If you arrive on time for your appointment, keep an eye on how long you are kept waiting before being shown into a room and subsequently how long you spend in the room waiting for the vet to appear.  Do they have dog toys for your pal to play with as you wait? Pay attention to how the vet interacts with and handles your dog. Watch for unnecessary roughness or indifference. Like their staff, veterinarians should also be fond of animals. Additionally, monitor how the vet and staff interact with one another. If they are unable to communicate effectively or give off the impression that they are not working as a team, take your business elsewhere. There is no need to get caught up in their office drama and it may take away from the quality of care your dog receives. Have a list of questions prepared and ask the vet about them while he or she is in the room. I personally prefer vets who will recommend over the counter and home remedies to treat my dogs. This tells me that they are conscious of how expensive vet bills can be. Why pay a ridiculous amount for an in-office prescription when you can pick up the same medicine in your local pharmacy for a fraction of the cost? Be sure to write down any dosage information. Also make sure that the vet is a good listener. I once had a vet give a pill to my dog after being told she gets carsick. On the way home, she vomited in the car. The vet’s office wanted to charge me for a second pill to give her even though the vet never should have fed her the pill. If he had been listening, he would have known better. These guidelines will help you in choosing a good vet. However, your own preferences and needs should always dictate the vet you choose to care for your dog.

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