You've adopted a new furry friend and want to do all you can to keep them happy and healthy, so now it's time to find a great vet. Where do you start? Our Vancouver vets offer some advice on factors to consider when choosing a vet for your pet.

Tips On How to Find a Vet

Whether you have just moved with your pet, or have just welcomed a new furry friend into your life knowing how to choose a vet can be tricky. There is a lot to consider when it comes to finding qualified, appropriate medical care for your pet.

Today our Vancouver vets share some valuable advice on how to find the right veterinarian to meet your pet's needs.

Ask Fellow Pet Parents & The Pet Community

Start with people you know in your area. Who do they use for a vet, and why? What qualities convinced them this was the place for them? Ask friends, family, groomers, even fellow dog parents at your pup's obedience class or at the dog park.

Pet parents adore their animal companions, so you’ll likely find interesting and varied opinions, valuable information if you ask around - and maybe even important factors you hadn’t thought of considering.

Check Out The Online Reviews

Doing a little detective work is always a good next step. Google and social media can be your friends when it’s time to look for a new vet. What do the reviews on their website, social media channels or Google My Business profile say?

According to clients, are the vets attentive, punctual, knowledgeable, and compassionate? Do they truly care about their patients? What about their office staff - are they polite and responsive?

While every veterinary clinic is bound to have one or two unhappy clients, consider it a red flag if you see consistent complaints that indicate a pattern of bad service, unprofessionalism, etc. Also, check to see if the veterinary clinic replies to reviews - is the practice responsive to concerns, and are questions or concerns resolved in a timely manner?

An active presence online and on social media may indicate the vets and staff will be similarly responsive in person.

Visit the Veterinary Clinic You're Considering

Below are some key points to pay attention to outside and indoors when you are choosing a vet for your dog or cat:

Outside of The Clinic

Practical considerations such as location, parking and accessibility may be top of mind. Can you get to the office easily. Is the premises clean and accessible? Is parking safe and convenient? Is the office in a safe neighborhood?

Go during the times you’ll most likely be visiting, as this is the only way you’ll be able to find out if surprise factors such as traffic congestion or scarce parking around the office make it a no-go.

Stepping Inside

You’ll likely spend a significant amount of time in the waiting room during your visits. Is the waiting area clean and comfortable enough to sit in? Is the general environment relaxed?

Don’t forget to ask about wait times, as a full waiting room may indicate multiple veterinary emergencies that day, not necessarily long waits.

Ask Questions About Services, Hours & Features

A list of questions you may want to ask during your visit:

What are your hours?

Are the office’s hours convenient for you? Your dog will need preventive care, vaccinations and regularly scheduled exams, so it’s important that the practice’s hours mesh with your schedule.

At Mountain View Veterinary Hospital, we offer Saturday hours for busy pet parents who can’t make it in for appointments during weekday business hours.

What equipment do you have onsite?

Does the practice have a good range of diagnostic and treatment equipment, such as imaging technology onsite (X-ray, ultrasound, cold laser therapy etc)?

Our Vancouver facility is equipped with a full-service veterinary laboratory, which allows us to perform many tests, get quick results, provide a diagnosis and begin treatment as soon as possible.

Are tests or treatments outsourced?

Which tests are available at the hospital or office, and which are outsourced to other facilities? At Mountain View Veterinary Hospital, we run a variety of tests in our in-house lab, from Complete Blood Counts to parasite tests and cytology to fecal exams, blood chemistry panels and more.

Which services do you offer?

Comprehensive services will be important as your dog reaches developmental milestones. From vaccinations and preventive care to dentistry and surgery our veterinary hospital has all the services your pet will need as they grow.

Do you require pet boarding, veterinary acupuncture or less available rehabilitation treatments such as cold laser therapy to keep your pet healthy and happy. Does the hospital you are considering offer those services?

Does the practice have an in-house pharmacy stocked with a wide selection of medications and prescription diets, so that you’ll have quick access to any medications your pets may need while in our care.

Check Qualifications & Training of Staff

This is where choosing the right vet is similar to shopping for other services. Is the vet you’re considering licensed in the U.S. and their state?

Do all of the people working at the hospital (such as registered veterinary technicians) hold appropriated licenses? Ask to see these, or contact your state’s board of veterinary medicine for this information.

Board-certified specialists are a bonus especially if your pet needs special care for more complex conditions. These professionals have completed intensive training in veterinary medicine and offer more advanced diagnosis and treatments than standard veterinarians, although they often requires a referral from your primary care vet.

Assess Veterinarian’s Communication Style

The vet’s bedside manner and communication style is vital to developing a relaxed, honest and comfortable relationship with the people who will be caring for your pet’s medical needs. Professionalism, punctuality and compassion are key, whether you’re coming in for a routine exam or finding out your dog may need a surgical procedure.

Compare Prices

How are service fees charged? When price shopping, remember that one vet’s price for a given treatment may include post-op painkiller medication, anesthesia and monitoring, while another vet’s total may not include these necessities, so ask for totals for procedures. Animal hospitals are unique, so will have varying overhead costs.

Advice on Leaving Your Current Vet

Many patients leave a veterinary clinic due to perceived communication issues or problems with service. If that’s the case for you, writing an email or letter to the staff at your current clinic, though this can feel awkward, may help to open dialog and allows the veterinarian an opportunity to respond. If you can’t come to a resolution, many vets are happy to refer you elsewhere.

If you're looking for a new vet, now is a great time to meet the staff and veterinarians at Mountain View Veterinary Hospital. We are always happy to welcome new patients to our Vancouver  animal hospital. 

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Are you looking for a new vet in Vancouver? Our team would love to hear from you. Contact Mountain View Veterinary Hospital today to learn more about our services, or to book an appointment for you pet.