Choosing a New Veterinarian: My Experience

A few months ago, I moved 20 miles north which meant that I would eventually need to find a new veterinary clinic for my dog, Ellie.

Little did I know, the bar was set high at our previous clinic. All of the doctors were extremely friendly and personable, the clinic was very large and well-staffed, and they were high-tech with their online member area, monthly e-mail newsletters, and postcard reminders in the mail. However, you get what you pay for, as I found their examination fee at $75 to be a bit steep.

Since I moved away from the heart of Seattle, I knew it would be possible to find vet clinics with less expensive exam fees. After all, Ellie has always been as healthy as a horse, even after a few instances of eating whole sticks of butter, and I wanted to save my money for any bigger emergencies.

Getting started
I knew there were many clinics within walking distance of our new home so I started by looking at reviews on Yelp. None of the clinics particularly stood out, so I went about calling to get pricing information. The first clinic I called offered a $46 exam fee so I booked an appointment on the spot!

You get what you pay for
Unfortunately my overall experience was sub-par. The clinic was small with only one vet tech running around and trying work the front desk, but I wasn’t about to judge until meeting the veterinarian.

His personality was quite neutral and he treated Ellie more like an animal than a beloved pet. Plus he asked me about any health concerns and whether I’d seen any fleas, which you’d think is a normal question for a vet to ask, but he did it in a manner that suggested I must be in the clinic for a reason. It almost made me feel silly for taking her in for a regular check-up.

I left after being there for less than 15 minutes. No health report card, no advice or suggestions about keeping her teeth clean, and I definitely don’t expect a postcard in the mail next year to remind me to come back. So my quest continues and I will pursue a different clinic next year when Ellie is due for vaccines.

How did you choose your veterinarian? Do you have any advice?

About Stacy @Trupanion

Stacy Kowalchuk is a dog mom to her rescued Whippet-mix, Ellie. During the week, you can find Stacy surfing (the internet, that is) and managing Trupanion's presence in the social media world. In her free time, Stacy likes to bake, especially cupcakes! To balance her culinary affinity, she also likes to stay active, especially with activities that include her dog such as hiking and going to dog parks.

One Response to Choosing a New Veterinarian: My Experience

  1. The best way to find a good veterinarian is to ask people who have the same approach to pet care as you.

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