Whether you adopt an adult dog or handpick a puppy from a breeder, you are responsible for their safety, nutrition and medical care from that day forward. In fact, it's not unheard of a lot of people to consider their pets their children, so when a medical emergency arises, it's only natural to want the best care money can buy.
If your pet needs surgical intervention, you need to find a vet you can trust to get the job done. But finding a trustworthy veterinarian doesn't happen by chance. Below are a few tips to help you choose the right vet for both you and your dog:
Is the Vet AAHA Accredited?
Take the time to investigate the veterinarian's educational background and experience. Does their clinic have American Animal Hospital accreditation like 1st Pet Veterinary Centers?
While there are a lot of excellent clinics that aren't AAHA members, this type of acknowledgment ensures that your dog will receive a certain level of medical care. In addition to the above, do they actively take part in your community? Do they open their doors and welcome dogs and their owners to visit the clinic on a social level?
What is Their Philosophy?
Don't be afraid to ask the veterinarian about their philosophies. Are they similar to what you expected? How do they respond when you ask questions about your dog's care? Are they approachable or standoffish?
Medical Equipment And Information
At the very least, the vet clinic should have access to an x-ray machine, in-house lab tests, ultrasound equipment and standard vital sign monitoring devices. Does the vet offer specialized services for a myriad of possible medical conditions? Are you able to receive updates about your dog's conditions, albeit from the veterinarian or their assistant in a timely fashion? Are you allowed to call as often as you like for updates?
Techs and Assistants
The behavior of the vet's staff says a lot about the facility. Although it's possible to have one bad apple, if everyone seems to have an unpleasant attitude and makes you feel uncomfortable, you may want to look elsewhere.
Interaction with Other Animals
Take note of how the vet interacts with other animals in the clinic. Are they calm and assertive, yet friendly? If possible, let your dog meet the veterinarian before the procedure. Make sure that your dog feels at ease around the vet before making that final decision.
Even with the best of healthcare regimen, medical emergencies arise. The best course of action is to find a reputable vet that makes both you and your dog feel comfortable. Don't wait until it's a matter of life or death to choose a veterinarian. Your dog is counting on you to do what is right. After all, they are man's best friend.