According to a recent article on the San Franscisco Chronicle’s website, many pet owners turn to online sources of information when their pet becomes sick rather than take their pet to a veterinarian. And the main reason for this is trust.
It’s incredibly important to trust your veterinarian. Like any medical professional taking care of a member of your family, you should believe that your veterinarian always has your pet’s best interests at heart. Because unfortunately, if you use ‘Dr. Google’ when your pet is sick instead of seeking professional help, you could be prolonging the health issue in your pet… or making it worse.
So, in an effort to help pet owners with choosing the perfect veterinarian, here are some tips that worked for me:
1. Ask friends for recommendations. Like most decisions I make, I put a lot of trust in word of mouth. If my friends have had a great experience with their veterinarian, I put them on my list of possibilities.
2. Tour several offices. Once I develop a list of possibilities, I visit each one and ask for a tour. I want to see everything from the patient rooms to the boarding facilities to the surgery suites. I want to know that everything is clean and in working order. If the kennels are rusty or the surgical table looks dirty, that office is off my list.
3. Ask a lot of questions. Does this doctor have experience with my specific pet breed? Do they work with certain specialists in the area? Where did the doctor go to school? How long has he or she been practicing? Asking as many questions as possible will not only give you good insight into the office, but will also give you good insight into the personality of the doctor and the staff.
4. Interview other patients. Well, ‘interview’ may be a strong word, but if there are other people in the waiting room after I tour the office, I always try to ask them about their experiences.
5. Inform them about your pet insurance. With Trupanion, you can see any veterinarian you choose. But it can still be a struggle if the doctor or staff doesn’t have a lot of experience with handling pet insurance claims. It’s really nice to choose an office that is comfortable with helping you submit claims and even offers to keep claim forms on file in case you need them.
Do you trust your veterinarian? How did you select him or her?