Finding a veterinarian can be frustrating and challenging, particularly if you are a new pet owner or have just moved to the area.
Dog owners have it a bit easier, I think; you can always head to the local dog park and ask around. But even with recommendations, it’s difficult to know if your veterinarian is going to have the same philosophy of care you do.
So, here’s my advice to you: first, determine your philosophy of care. Do you prefer natural treatments? Traditional care? Do you like a vet that can take a lot of time and return phone calls, or do you prefer to be in the office when you talk? Do you like a veterinarian that can perform surgeries on site (say, if you have a cat or dog that needs to be spayed or neutered), or are you happy being referred elsewhere?
Once you’ve determined what you want in a vet, it’s easier to begin vet shopping.
First of all, you should ask friends and neighbors. Obviously. It’s the easiest way to get a recommendation, but of course it has to be from someone that has the same philosophy of care as you do. I personally know someone that absolutely adored a local vet here in Philly that was eventually drummed out of business for careless treatment that led to the death of many pets.
Something to consider, too, is the staff of the vet hospital. The staff should be friendly, engaging, and efficient. After all, most interactions with the a vet’s office are not with the veterinarian – they are with the staff. So be sure that you click with the staff, too.
Luckily, today there are also plenty of online tools such as Yelp and Angie’s List to utilize too. You can definitely find the perfect vet for your furry family!