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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?

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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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