We are very fortunate to have four veterinary offices in Gillette with a host of great vets and clinic staff in them. Some of you may be new to Gillette, or maybe you’re just looking for a second opinion; or maybe even thinking it may be time to change your vet. Here are some helpful tips when it comes time to finding the right vet for you.
- Ask friends and family for recommendations. Find out who they use and why. And, if you don’t have any friends in Gillette, feel free to ask colleagues who own pets who they use and why.
- Scope out the clinic ahead of time. Don’t hesitate to go to the clinic before you schedule an appointment to ask clinic staff questions, or even see if you can get a tour of the facility. When you’re there, see if the clinic is clean, in a good location for you, and is able to treat all of your pets’ needs.
- When you do make an appointment, do you feel you have a good rapport with the vet and support staff? Also, does the vet have the same philosophy on pet care that you do? If you are comfortable with your vet you’re more likely to ask questions when you don’t understand something important to your pet’s care. Communication is key for a healthy and happy pet.
- Is the support staff caring, calm, courteous and do they communicate with you effectively?
- How many veterinarians are there on staff, and do they have an emergency veterinarian to help you and/or monitor your pet during unexpected times?
- If the practice does have multiple vets, are you able to schedule appointments with the same veterinarian every time you need one? I often find that having my pets see the same vet helps them receive the best care possible.
- Does the veterinarian continue to get education on current veterinary practices?
- Are the staff and veterinarian(s) up to speed on the usual medical issues that are specific to your pet? For example, our president has three mastiffs, and a great medical concern for this breed of dog is bloat. When she selected her vet, she made sure to go with one who knew about this issue.
- Are there licensed veterinary technicians or other professionals on staff? Often, a client will speak with a vet tech before an appointment with the vet. Licensed techs are trained to recognize health concerns, and are a beneficial line of defense for your pet.
- Are X-rays, blood work, ultrasounds or other diagnostic tests done in house, or are you going to have to go to another location to get them done?
- How are patients evaluated for anesthesia or surgery?
- What is the clinic’s protocol for pain management?
- During your appointment with the vet, does he/she examine your pet in front of you, and explain what they are looking for doing during the exam?
- If you need more information regarding a diagnosis, are you able to speak with the vet or a technician for guidance, or do you need to schedule another appointment?
- Does the clinic allow you to bring multiple pets in for one appointment (if you prefer this) or can you bring a pet who may be a bit fearful in for happy visits (where they simply go to the clinic and get treats just for being there)?
- What’s the average cost of routine procedures like wellness exams, titers and teeth cleaning? And, do those costs fit your budget?
Below are some more articles to consider reading on getting comfortable with your vet, as well as helping your pet get comfortable with the vet and their office/clinic. Do you have some tips? Put them in the comments below.