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Questions on how to choose a vet

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Could someone give me some guidelines on how to choose a vet? There are only about six listed in the yellow pages in my town, and I'm not sure they all even work with small animals. I just would like to find out some right questions to discover the best vet for my situation and needs; rather my cats' needs and situation.
post #2 of 6
I would call them first and get a general idea of pricing and hours of operation (when they are closed who do they reccomend for emergancy cases), and get a feel for how they come across over the phone. Then I would maybe stop by and take a look around, is it clean or dirty, if their are other people there with their pets how are they being treated by the staff, are the staff willing to talk with you and answer any questions, how many vets do they have practicing there, things like that. Once you get that far I would set up an appointment for an exam or vaccines or such and see how you and the vet hit it off, how does your pet seem to react to the vet (though some pets prefer men/women and some won't like any vet you choose), and go from there. Having a good working relationship with your vet is beneficial for all of you.
post #3 of 6
I agree with all of the above. Simply visiting each one - walking in and asking a couple of questions - will tell you alot about the vet.

My vet has VERY friendly hours 7 days a week and is AAHA certified - http://www.healthypet.com/ - I think she's terrific for many other reasons but these were some of the things I noticed when searching for a vet. I also noticed on my first visit that her building is extremely clean and well maintained and I liked that - told me alot about her.

One appointment with the vet office will tell you ALOT about the outpatient nurses and the vet and about their "bedside manner". Good luck.
post #4 of 6
ASk what they will do on your first visit and confirm it by being there throughout the exam. I have met vets who barely touch an animal when they first come in for shots. You need someone who is really 'hands-on', who routinely feels the internal organs, looks in the eyes, ears and mouth, and seems to enjoy the contact with an animal. This sounds obvious, but there are vets who don't, or who only like some kinds of animal, or who won't let the owner be present.
post #5 of 6
I love going to the vet, it is such a wonderful facility. She's also a cat vet, so no dogs are there. I went in before the first appointment, got to talk to the staff, asked to be shown around. I saw where they do grooming, and where some cats are boarded, and their playroom. The whole atmosphere is peaceful and inviting, with cat accessories. Talking to the staff was the best and I even told the vet later that her staff is wondeful.

Now....my cats don't enjoy going there though.

Oh, and my vet happens to be the one who neutered both my cats before I even got them, shes the vet volunteer for the rescue agency, and donates all those services to them. That was a nice touch.

Often when I go to the vet I meet the lady I got my cats from, in there with a batch of 10-15 kittens at a time, for checkups and shots and such.

So go into places and see how you feel there. You can always change.
post #6 of 6
I would also ask other "animal" people in the area who they use and why. There will be stories about all of the clinics floating around out there both good and bad but if all (or the majority) the people you ask use one or two clinics-odds are they would be good.
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