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How to choose the best veterinarian for your pet

Finding a vet you and your pet are comfortable with, who is accessible and properly licensed, is crucial for the animal's well-being

Visit potential veterinary clinics to get a feel for the facility. (Pexels/Mikhail Nilov)

By Dr Nameeta Nadkarni

LAST PUBLISHED 25.01.2024  |  01:00 PM IST

Despite my years of experience as a veterinarian, when it comes to my own pets, I'm just like any other pet parent. Seeing my furry companions under the weather turns my heart into a flutter of worry. My pets are family members and when illness strikes, I become a concerned parent first and a veterinarian second. Finding a veterinarian to whom I can confidently entrust the well-being of my pets is paramount. It's not merely a professional connection—it's about establishing a bond of trust that goes beyond medical expertise and has a shared commitment to the health of my pets.

The initial step in this process is to confirm that the veterinarian holds the appropriate accreditation. Regrettably, there have been instances where individuals from fields related to veterinary care have posed as licensed veterinarians. Not only is this illegal and unethical, but it also poses a significant threat to your pet's health. To safeguard against such risks, it is imperative to meticulously verify the individual's qualifications. This includes validating their degree and registration number, which essentially serve as their license to practice within a specific state. By taking these precautionary measures, you not only uphold legal and ethical standards, but also ensure that your cherished pets receive care from a legitimate and competent veterinary professional.

Also read: Why you should not ignore your pet's skin

To truly feel confident in your choice of veterinarian, it's crucial to ascertain that they have a track record of successfully treating pets, preferably those you are familiar with. This journey begins with thorough research and seeking recommendations from fellow pet parents. While online reviews can offer insights, relying on firsthand experiences shared by people you know can be a more reliable starting point. Anecdotes and firsthand accounts from acquaintances carry substantial weight. It's the difference between merely reading about someone's experience and having a candid conversation with a fellow pet parent who is authentic.

The significance of location and accessibility in selecting your pet's primary veterinarian cannot be overstated. While a highly recommended veterinarian might be outstanding, the practicality of proximity becomes a crucial factor in your decision-making process. This proximity not only simplifies regular visits and reduces the stress associated with traveling but also becomes a lifeline during unforeseen circumstances. Accidents and emergencies are unpredictable facets of pet ownership. In light of this, it's essential to inquire about the availability of emergency services and after-hours care at the chosen veterinary clinic. Knowing that your veterinarian is easily accessible during critical situations provides a profound peace of mind.

Visit potential veterinary clinics to get a feel for the facility. A clinic that is spotless and well-kept is often indicative of the level of care your pet is likely to receive. Beyond the visual aspects, pay attention to the intangible—the atmosphere. A calm and welcoming ambiance can impact your pet's overall experience during visits. Animals are perceptive to their surroundings, and a tranquil setting can alleviate stress, making each visit a more comfortable and positive affair. Delving into the technological aspect, inquire about the clinic's equipment and diagnostic capabilities. A veterinary clinic equipped with modern technology is better positioned to provide accurate diagnoses and efficient treatment.

Equally important is the support staff, whose interactions with you and your pet shape the overall experience. A friendly and compassionate support team fosters a positive atmosphere within the clinic, making each visit a reassuring and pleasant experience for both you and your pet. From the moment you walk through the door to the administrative processes and post-visit follow-ups, a caring support staff can elevate the overall quality of pet care.

Navigating your pet's healthcare involves not only the quality of services but also a clear understanding of the associated costs. When considering a veterinary clinic, it's imperative to inquire about the cost of routine services, vaccinations, and potential emergency care. A transparent insight into the clinic's pricing structure allows you to effectively budget for your pet's health needs.

In the quest for the ideal veterinarian, the linchpin is the comfort and connection shared between you, your pet, and the healthcare provider. A remarkable veterinarian extends beyond merely treating illnesses; they engage in meaningful conversations about preventive measures, cultivating a proactive approach to your pet's well-being. Engage in open discussions, ask questions freely, and seek updates on your pet's health. Ensure that your pet feels equally comfortable with your veterinarian. It's extremely important to find a veterinarian with whom you feel a sense of security—someone you can openly disclose all relevant information about your pet to without hesitation and also feel heard.


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Effective communication and compatibility are the cornerstones of a successful partnership with your veterinarian, and it works both ways. Entrusting your pet's life into the capable hands of your veterinarian is a profound act of faith. However, for this relationship to thrive, it is equally vital to reciprocate with respect for the veterinarian's craft and expertise. Respecting your veterinarian's professional judgment over information gleaned from the internet is vital to fostering a bond that genuinely benefits your pet.

Nameeta Nadkarni is a practising veterinary soft tissue surgeon and pet blogger from Mumbai.

Also read: Why you need to get your pet insured