veterinarianThese days, choosing a veterinarian for your pet is just as important as finding a good doctor, dentist, or specialist for your human family members. Whether you’ve recently moved, adopted a new fur friend, or are interested in changing veterinary clinics, there are certain things a concerned pet owner should be on the lookout for when it comes to finding the best healthcare for their animal companion.

Ask Around

People you trust and who value the health and wellness of their animal companions are a wonderful resource when it comes to choosing a veterinarian. Ask friends, neighbors, and coworkers before you check online reviews (although those can be helpful too!).

Look For AAHA Accreditation

Seeking out a clinic that is accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) is a good way to know that you are entrusting your animal into the care of a veterinarian and staff committed to meeting, or exceeding, the more than 900 standards of excellence set forth by the AAHA. Although there are plenty of excellent clinics that are not AAHA members, accreditation ensures a certain standard of care.

Meet And Greet

When you find a practice you’re interested in, call to schedule a tour of the facility. The staff should be proud to show you around, and while you’re there you can be considering the following:

  • Is it clean, organized, and free of strong odors?
  • Do the animal patients seem relaxed and safe?
  • Are dogs and cats separated?
  • Are the vet techs and front desk staff friendly and easy to work with?
  • Are the medical equipment/services up to date (ask if you aren’t sure)?

If possible, bring your pet in to meet the veterinarian ahead of time, and observe the energy and interaction between them while you ask about the clinic’s policies and philosophies when it comes to animal care.

Choosing A Veterinarian

A few other things to consider when finding the perfect veterinarian for your pet:

  • What is the clinic’s response to emergencies? If the hospital cannot see your pet immediately in an emergency, will they arrange for your pet to go to one that can?
  • Does the practice have a network of specialists available should your pet need one?
  • What types of payment methods are used, and do they accept the types of payment methods you have available to you?
  • How are phone questions handled?

Dealing with choosing a veterinarian for your pet when he or she is sick or there’s been an emergency can add a tremendous amount of stress to an already stressful situation. Don’t leave it to the last minute. Find your new vet today! Please don’t hesitate to contact Harris Parkway Veterinary Hospital with your questions.