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Picking the correct veterinarian for your pet is a critical step in ensuring their safety and longevity. Unfortunately, not all veterinarians are created equal and choosing the best care for your pet can ensure that they are in the best hands in event of an emergency.
The best veterinarians will also be attentive enough to foresee health problems and medical conditions before they occur, which could help prevent or lessen detrimental effects of disease and old age. Here are 7 ways to choose the right veterinarian for you and your pet.
1. Education and Accreditation
Before you even consider a vet clinic, ensure that you check on whether the practice is accredited by the Accreditation Program for Australian Veterinarians (APAV). This information could be found in a database maintained by Animal Health Australia. You should also look at the education of the doctor, and nurses. A doctor with academic standing, accreditation, and some years of work as an intern or resident should be very able and knowledgeable. The amount of years lab techs and nurses train and stay with the practice will also tell you a lot about the working environment.
2. Attention to Your Pet
Attention to your pet is crucial for a great vet. If they are not attentive, then they could miss out on vital clues which indicate greater problems down the line. It is also important to note how the vet and staff interact with the pets. Do they love animals as much as you love your pet? This is something that you can tell by their body language, and the way they treat your pet.
3. Attention to You
In choosing the best vet, it is important that the doctor is attentive to you. Good communication and shared values are essential to having a good working relationship with your vet. You should choose a vet that you feel you can talk to and ask questions when you are not sure you understand the diagnosis or the treatment they recommend. If you are at a vet office that you don't feel comfortable in, chances are your pet will not feel comfortable either.
Where the vet is located is important in determining whether it is plausible that you'll be able to go there comfortably. You should also ensure that the vet is a reasonable distance in the event of emergency.
5. Community Outreach
Community interaction can be a very important aspect of choosing a vet for some owners. Some vets have community events where they teach pet care classes, hold fun events for pet lovers, and simply make pet owners feel welcome. While this may not be essential, it can make you and your pet love each visit to the vet.
6. Service and Costs
A good vet office will have services which include x-rays, blood pressure monitoring, in-house lab tests, ultrasound, and dentistry. You should also ensure that the vet has a method of monitoring overnight patients. Of course, you must always compare the costs with other vets in the area and choose a vet that accepts your pet insurance (if you have a policy).
7. Your Gut Feeling
Finally, the best way to choose a vet that is right for your pet is by trusting your gut feeling. Pets and humans alike are intuitive creatures and if you feel you have found the best place for you and your pet, you will feel it in your gut. Likewise, if you feel like you are not in the right place, you should consider expanding your search. You and your pet can always transfer to another vet clinic.
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