How to Find a Good Veterinarian

veterinarian examining a small dog

If you've recently brought home a new pet or you've moved with your pet, finding a veterinarian is probably on your to-do list. The following are some guidelines to help you find a vet near you. While it's by no means an exhaustive list, it can help pinpoint the right person for you and for your animal.

Guidelines to find a veterinarian

Willingness to listen, answer questions, and communicate easily: You want to feel comfortable asking your veterinarian anything — especially if you're new to taking care of a pet or a certain medical condition — and have the vet give you information in a way that you can understand and use it.

Kindness and patience: A good vet should be able to walk you through how to care for your pet without making you feel inept or confused.

Professional skills: Does the vet keep up with the latest developments in the veterinary field that will help your animal?

Accessibility: Will the vet be available, especially in a crisis?

Generous nature: Are you just a money machine for your vet’s office? You want to feel as if they are taking into account your costs, especially if you are in rescue work and are bringing in a lot of animals.

Love of animals: You'll definitely want a vet who loves animals as much as you do — and who doesn't make you feel as though the care they provide is just "business" or "work." How does the vet interact with your pet? Are they warm, comfortable, and considerate of your pet's needs? Does the vet's advice always center on the well-being of the animal?

Referral from a friend: This can be a good way to find a vet. But remember that just because the referral came from a friend, it doesn't mean that the vet will be right for you and your needs. If something doesn't feel like a good fit, move on.

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