Find The Best Veterinarian For Your Pet

How To Choose The Right Veterinarian For Your Pet

Choosing the right veterinarian for your dog is something that you should carefully consider. This is the person that could potentially save your pet’s life and keep them healthy. Both and your pet should come to a consensus about this person before you make a long-term commitment to work with them. Here are some things to consider when choosing a veterinarian.

Ask for personal recommendations

One of the best ways to find the right veterinarian is to ask your friends and family members for recommendations. Other families with pets in your area may know some good veterinarians to check out, so that should be the first place you look for advice.

Find a veterinarian with an expertise in treating dogs

Veterinarians are not all created equal. There are different types of veterinarians that specialize in working with different types of animals, and some of them may have more experience treating cats, rabbits, or other types of non-canine animals. You will definitely want to work with a veterinarian who has an expertise in treating dogs specifically, so ask about how much experience they have with dogs before you get started.

Look for licensed personnel

Although most people would assume this would be a given, that is not always the case. Make sure that veterinarian really is licensed in your state and also see if some of the other workers are licensed, because there are also registered veterinary technicians. You can ask to see their licenses or contact your state board of veterinary medicine for more information.

Inquire about their approach to pets and medicine

A veterinarian is not just there to administer medication, but to provide care for the entire being. Vets tend to have different approaches when it comes to pets and medication. Have a brief discussion with your potential vet and see what they think about wellness and prevention issues when it comes to dogs. If they are not on the same page with you, then you should keep looking.

Consider the cost and location

If an emergency situation occurs, then you will need to be able to get to the vet’s office quickly. Try to find a veterinarian that is less than an hour away from you at the most. Costs can also vary depending on the vet, so see if their prices fit into your budget before you commit to them.

Both you and your pet should be comfortable

Being comfortable around your veterinarian is important because you should be able to tell them everything about your dog. The same thing applies to your dog because they should also feel at ease around the vet. Some initial discomfort around a vet can be normal for some dogs, but signs of anger, fear, or distress toward a vet is certainly a red flag that you should move on.

Look for a clean facility

Have a look around the facility and notice the level of cleanliness. If the place seems a little dingy or dirty, then that is also a sign to move on. Since it is a medical facility, it should be just as clean as a hospital for humans.

Personal referrals are a great way to start the search, but you should still spend some time to get know the vet and staff first. Ask about their background and experience, and then see if they hold views similar to yours on medical treatments for pets. Make sure that both you and your pet are comfortable with the vet and facility. The veterinarian will play a significant role in your pet’s life, so keep looking until you find the right one.

 

How Do I Look for a Vet?

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) evaluates veterinary practices on the quality of their facilities, staff, equipment and patient care. Search the organization’s website at www.aahanet.org for a list of accredited vets in your area.

It’s also a good idea to ask for recommendations from friends, family and trusted neighbors-especially those who take a keen interest in their dogs’ health and well-being.

 

What is Your Vaccination Protocol?

Does the potential new veterinarian believe in three-year vaccinations or vaccinating every year? Some veterinarians argue that annual boosters get the pet in for annual exams. The reality is annual exams get the pet in for annual exams. Every year of life for a dog or cat is somewhere between five and eight years for a human. It’s good to have things checked out as they can change in that period. However, using unnecessary procedures is dangerous for the pet and only lines the pocket of the veterinarian.

 

Are pet wellness plans worth it?

Depending on the recommended care for your pet, the frequency of treatment and how much you spend annually on preventative measures, a wellness plan could save you money. With different tiers of coverage available, choosing the best plan for your pet’s needs is easy. Some wellness plans also include discounts for additional veterinary services.

However, if your plan’s coverage is not comparable or your pet’s annual wellness needs would exceed the benefits, a wellness plan might not be for you. Keep in mind that most veterinarians offer preventative care at relatively inexpensive fees compared to the costs of treating an unexpected accident. Your pet might also not require a full suite of wellness services every year, which could limit the value.

It’s important you know exactly what is and is not covered before making your decision. You should compare wellness programs to see which works best for you and your pet.

 

How Pet Insurance Works

To prevent people from getting insurance when their pet is already sick, companies also have a waiting period between when you buy your policy and when illness coverage begins. For accident coverage, the waiting period is usually a few days. Insurers will require your pet to get a check-up before your coverage kicks in to establish any pre-existing conditions.

To get reimbursed by your pet insurer, you must pay out of pocket first and then file a claim afterwards. Insurers will evaluate your claim and, if approved, either direct deposit you the reimbursement funds or send a check in the mail. This process usually takes two to three business days, though it can take longer than a week for more complicated claims or if you receive reimbursement funds in the mail. Your reimbursement depends on how your plan is structured, and the main parts are:

  • Deductible: The money you have to pay towards a bill (either per year or incident) before the insurer pays. Ranges from $0 to $1,000.
  • Reimbursement level: After the deductible is paid, the percentage of the bill that will be reimbursed by the insurer. Usually 50% through 100%.
  • Annual max: The maximum amount your insurer will pay in medical bills each year. Any charges incurred above the max will be paid out of pocket.

For example, let’s say your plan has a 100% reimbursement level, $50 deductible and a $10,000 annual max. If your pet gets into an accident that ends in $15,000 of medical bills, you “pay” for the first $50, and the insurer would reimburse you for $10,000, and you are responsible for the remaining $4,950.

Does it pay to have both pet insurance and a pet wellness plan?

Wellness plans encourage owners to be more proactive about caring for their furry loved one. It is far less expensive to prevent a problem than it is to treat it. Wellness plans work to catch conditions early, before complications develop, so treatment can be more successful and your pet has a longer, happier life.

Even with diligent, preventative care, 1 in 3 pets will require a sudden visit to the vet each year. Pet insurance helps protect you from these unexpected costs; by paying affordable monthly premiums, you’ll be covered if any serious health issues do occur.