BY DR SAM JONES – MY LOCAL VET, CAPALABA
Finding a great vet practice for your pet can be a daunting task. Here are some useful tips to help you make the right choice for you and your furry loved one:
1. Contact the clinic and tell them you’re looking for a new vet for your pet. If the receptionist is warm, friendly and enthusiastic to talk to you then chances are the vet will be too! If the clinic culture engenders a genuine desire to engage with people then often everyone in that workplace will be warm, friendly and eager to help.
2. Ask for a tour of the clinic. Touring the facility will enable you to judge the standards of the practice, particularly hygiene. If the clinic smells like urine and there’s pet hair everywhere head for the nearest exit and don’t look back because often the same standards will be reflected in the standard of patient care. By taking a clinic tour you will also be able to see if the patients have comfortable hospital beds, if the practice has invested in new equipment and how the staff present themselves. If a veterinary clinic has high standards they should be excited to offer you a clinic tour because they will be proud of their workplace and the quality of service they offer! If the clinic is clean and orderly, if the staff present themselves in a friendly and professional manner and if the practice has comfortable accommodation for hospital patients, chances are the standard of patient care will be spot on!
3. Ask the vet some questions about patient care. Some good questions to ask are:
- How do you ensure the safety of anaesthetised patients? Do you measure ECG, blood pressure and expired carbon dioxide for ALL anaesthetised patients?
- What are your recommendations for preventative health products and why do you recommend these?
- How do you manage arthritic patients or a pet with vomiting and diarrhoea?
These questions will give the vet an opportunity to showcase their knowledge and will give you an opportunity to see how well they communicate. If they take the time to explain things thoroughly and in a way you can easily understand (without making you feel intimidated) then you’ve found yourself a keeper! It should feel like you’re talking to a friend.
4. Bring your pet in to meet the vet. An enthusiastic vet will be excited to meet a new patient (without charging for their time). This will enable you to see how they interact with your furry mate so you can decide if they “fit the brief”.
Your vet should be your guiding light when it comes to managing your pet’s health care. They should provide you with all the advice you need to make informed decisions for your pet. In doing so, veterinary care becomes a collaboration between owner and vet.
For this reason it’s vital you enjoy a healthy relationship with your vet, founded on good communication and trust.