Just as there is a large variation in doctors, from those providing homeopathic remedies to those readily writing prescriptions and encouraging elective surgery, there is a large variation in veterinarians. As the discipline of veterinary medicine advances, this variation is increasing. Long gone are the days of veterinarians working out of pickup trucks and making house calls; veterinary medicine has greatly advanced and can provide nearly all the services associated with human medicine.
Because of this, the decisions and factors associated with choosing a veterinarian for your dog or cat has become more complicated. Of course, some factors have stayed the same and will always be relevant, such as personality and location. With new advancements in veterinary medicine, however, new concerns have risen, such as services offered and expense.
As with any decision associated to forging a working relationship, choosing a veterinarian requires some level of personal compatibility. Visiting different veterinary offices, meeting with veterinarians, and finding on with whom you feel comfortable and confident in are important steps to take. Though referrals and social media reviewing sites (Yelp, Google Reviews, etc.) are valuable, there is no replacement for a personal meeting and evaluation. Additionally, it may be helpful and worth the effort to bring your pet along on your visits and determine which veterinarian is most compatible with your dog or cat, as well.
Another important factor is location. Local advertising, yellow pages, and Google Maps can help you determine your options. If you should find yourself with an emergency concerning your pet’s health on your hands, you want to be able to access medical attention immediately, minimizing travel time. Choosing a veterinary office nearby is not only convenient, but may be crucial to your pet’s health.
With advancements in veterinary medicine come advancements in services offered. In the past, treating cancer in dogs and cats may have seemed absurd, but not anymore. When choosing a veterinarian, it is important to align your pet’s health concerns with the services offered by the veterinary office. Sometimes, your pet’s health may require the services of a specialist. In this case, you may decide to rely on this specialist for all veterinary needs or you may visit a regular veterinary office for common concerns and rely on the specialist only for special treatments and diagnostics.
Of course, these advancements in services offered do not come without an increasing in medical expenses. Though veterinary medicines and surgeries still cost a fraction of human medicines and surgeries, expense is a relevant factor in choosing a veterinarian.
Choosing a veterinarian for your pet may be a difficult and time-consuming decision, if it is to be made correctly, but it is important not to put off making this decision until a time of crisis. Should an emergency arise, it is immensely helpful and comforting to have an established connection with your veterinarian and a plan of action to follow. By considering the factors introduced in this article, choosing a veterinarian does not have to be an overwhelming process.