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By:  Darlene Zagata





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Selecting A Veterinarian


Most people choose a veterinarian based on personal choice but there are a few things to take into consideration before making a decision. First you need to find a vet that will meet all of your needs. It may be helpful to talk to friends, breeders, or pet owners, before you start to look through the phone book. Others may be able to provide some insight that may make your search easier. If you do choose a veterinarian from a local listing, you may want to visit the facility and talk to the staff to find out about the services offered. Many pet care facilities offer brochures that provide a listing of staff members and services that are provided by the particular establishment.

Questions that you will want to ask include fees, hours of operation, and if they are available to make house calls in the event of an emergency. If you visit the office, you will want to assess the surroundings to see if the facility is clean, well-kept, and sanitary. If the surroundings seem disheveled, unsanitary, or the staff appears to be disorganized and unclear in the performance of their duties, this may be a good indication that you should look elsewhere.

If you are interested in a particular veterinarian but something puts you off about the facility, you may want to visit the office on more than one occasion before checking them off the list. You should take into consideration how busy the facility is at the time of your visit, because what may seem like disorganization may simply be a staff that is trying to cope with a particularly heavy schedule. By talking to the staff members, you will be able to determine if you feel comfortable around them and if the office has an atmosphere of general cooperation. Are they friendly? Do they seem to have a good attitude? Are they willing to answer any questions you have or address your concerns? If the staff members tend to be rude, disinterested, or otherwise lacking, you may want to continue your search.

Another item of importance is location. Most people want to find a veterinarian within a fairly close proximity to their home. Taking these things into consideration, knowing what to look for, and personal preference are all factors in finding a veterinarian that will meet one's needs. When you decide upon a vet, you should make an initial appointment for your pet to have a check-up. You can strike up a casual conversation with other people in the waiting area by mentioning that it's your first visit to the veterinarian, and inquire if others are happy with the service they have received. Most people are eager to talk to others and discuss their pets and experiences.

By conversing with the other people, you may get some much needed insight that will help you in your determination. You will also get the opportunity to meet the veterinarian and speak with him or her directly. The first visit to the office should give you a fairly good idea as to whether your selection will provide you with a comfortable and reliable choice in medical care for your pet. Once you have found a veterinarian that you are pleased with, you will be able to develop a one-on-one relationship with the staff members and be comfortable in discussing the care and health of your pet.







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