Your pet is a loved and valued member of your family, which is why you want to be careful in selecting a veterinary hospital. The veterinarians and support staff will have many opportunities to work with you and your pet; so you want to find a hospital where the staff have the medical expertise, but also excellent people and animal skills. More importantly, one of the most unfortunate mistakes you can make as a pet owner is to wait for an emergency to find a veterinary hospital. So here are some tips for how to choose a veterinary hospital.
Consider the Basics
Location, fees, and veterinary experience are three basic elements that you will want to consider before choosing a vet hospital. You not only want to find a hospital that is close to your home, but also one that provides effective and affordable services. In addition, you’ll want to make sure that the hospital provides the services you will need and has experience caring for your breed or species of pet. For example, if you know you need specialist services, you don’t want to choose a hospital that does not have such a specialist.
Always ask friends, family, or coworkers for recommendations. When you know people with the same approach to pet care as you, you know they are a trusted resource for information and experiences at their preferred animal hospital. Alternatively, if you are new to an area, you should seek out information from trustworthy organizations such as the SPCA. If you’ve had to rely on the Yellow Pages or an online search to find hospital candidates, don’t be afraid to ask staff at vet hospitals to provide you with references so you can speak to other pet owners about their experiences.
Evaluate the Team
Veterinary hospitals operate in a team-based environment. Veterinarians work alongside technicians and other medical support staff in providing service to you and your pets. Ideally, you want to meet with hospital staff members to decide whether they are competent and caring enough to work with you and your pet(s).
Finally, here is a list of questions you should ask before you choose a veterinary hospital:
- Is the hospital clean, comfortable, and well organized?
- Are staff friendly, professional, and helpful?
- Do they provide after-hours emergency services?
- How many veterinarians and specialists service the hospital?
- What kinds of animals are treated?
- What services does the hospital provide: x-rays, ultrasound, lab tests, etc.?
- What other questions do you have?
Choosing the right veterinary hospital for you and your pet does not need to be a difficult task; however, you want to thoroughly review and consider your options to ensure that your pet receives the best care possible.