Magazine article Newsweek

Finding the Right Veterinarian

Magazine article Newsweek

Finding the Right Veterinarian

Article excerpt

I am often asked by pet owners how they should go about selecting a veterinarian. I don usually know the practitioners outside of my immediate area, so these are the criteria I suggest they follow:

Canvas the pet owners in your neighborhood. It's easy to stop a person walking a dog and inquire as to who they use for their pet's medical care. Even if you are a cat owner, many dog owners have cats too. Ask as many people as you can and find out why they like one vet and dislike another. Their reasons may not be the same as yours (for example, price, bedside manner, evil receptionist, gorgeous technician).

Then you need to find out where you belong. Some practices treat cats only, so your dog may not be welcome. Others may concentrate on large animals, and some may not be willing to. treat birds or exotics (reptiles, rodents, etc.).

If you live in an urban environment, proximity may play a key role in your selection. It would be ideal if you could walk your Doberman just a few blocks for his physical rather than be at the mercy of a cab driver who passes you by for a less menacing fare: And then there is the cat who always gets carsick. Certainly, avoiding a car trip with that one will reduce the overall stress of the outing, not to mention the cleanup coming and going. If the best care does involve some traveling, however, it is worth making the extra effort to get there.

A phone call can give you a lot of information:

Hours. Do they have latenight, early-morning or weekend hours? Do they go by appointments or is it first come, first served? Will you be seen in a reasonable amount of time?

Emergency Care. Do the doctors see their own emergencies or do they refer to an emergency center? Can you speak to a doctor on an emergency basis after hours? Or will you just get a recording?

The Staff. …

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