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Finding The Right Vet For Your Pet

young dog at the vet clinic

Finding The Right Vet For Your Pet

When bringing home your puppy for the first time, one of the first things you should be doing is taking him to the vet for a check-up. Vaccinations, neutering, worm doses…your puppy will be visiting the vets quite a few times before his first birthday and throughout his life, so make sure to find a reputable and trustworthy vet. Whether you’re a first time dog-owner or an experienced dog parent looking for a new vet for your loyal friend, this guide will help guide you in making the best decision when it comes to choosing a vet for your pet.

How Do I Find a Vet?

Try to stick within your local area if possible; if your pet has an emergency, it can be difficult to get the timely medical attention they require if the closest veterinarian is three hours away. Try to keep the journey to less than hour if you can. This can help give you peace of mind if an accident does occur to your pet.

Ask around for suggestions from friends, family or neighbours about veterinary clinics they have been to and their experiences. Online reviews are also useful, but recommendations from people you trust are even better. Different pets and families have different needs and requirements, so we recommend you meet with a few vets before making your final choice.

Puppy at the vet clinic

What To Look For in a Vet

Once you have managed to narrow the search down to one or two potential veterinary clinics, try an schedule a visit without your pet with you and get a feel for the place yourself. Most good vets value transparency and would be more than happy to give you a tour and show you around to make feel welcome.

Have a good look around the clinic and take note the level of cleanliness. If the place seems a little dirty or even unhygienic, this is a red flag and a sign this place is certainly not for you or your pet. It should be as clean and hygienic as a hospital would be for humans, considering it is a medical facility.

Are the animals and people in the waiting area comfortable? Many pets will experience nervousness or anxiety at the vets, especially if they have not been very often, so if they don’t seem ‘happy’ this is not a red flag. They should be appear comfortable and most importantly, safe.

What are the staff like? Are they friendly, courteous and calm? Observe how they act around other animals within the vicinity. A staff member you are comfortable speaking to and trust are two key traits when conducting research into veterinary clinics.

Look into costs and rates of the veterinary clinic too. Make sure their costs fit into your budget before you commit. Consider the opening hours too; are they typical office hours or do they have an emergency 24 hour number line you can avail of?

What Questions Should I Ask The Vet?

When you visit a veterinarian’s clinic for the first time, in addition to getting a feel for the facility, you should ask lots of questions to give you a complete understanding of their practice, including:

  1. What services do you offer? If your pet needs an X-ray or a different type of test, will it be carried out in the office or will they need to go somewhere else?
  2. How are overnight patients monitored?
  3. What types of payment do they accept? Are there any payment plans for major surgeries and/or treatment for chronic conditions?
  4. What emergency services are offered on-site, and how will they assist you if emergency appointments are not available?
  5. Enquire about the office hours and how emergencies are covered. If there is more than one vet within the practice, you may want to ask if you can see a specific vet.

Time For Your Pet To Meet The Vet

When you’ve found the perfect vet for you and your four legged friend, schedule another visit to see how the vet handles your pet. Observe how your pet reacts and behaves around the vet. Normal stress and wariness is expected in animals who are out of their comfort zone, but it’s essential that both the vet and pet get along to be able to perform a basic examination. Pay attention to how the vet puts your pet at ease; are they friendly and comforting, or cold and distant? If it’s the latter, it’s probably best to choose a different clinic.

Should I Get Pet Insurance?

Should anything go awry when it comes to pet’s health, the bills can begin to quickly grow, leaving the owner with a heavy price to pay, so it might be worth it doing research in the different types of pet insurance available.

Make sure to look at the pros and cons and ask yourself, is it another expense of pet ownership that you are willing to take on?

The insurance providers that you will be looking at here in Ireland are Allianz, Post Insurance, Petinsurance.ie and Petinsure.ie. It is advised to every consumer that they tailor any insurance costs to their needs and their budget, as well as their level of risk.

It is also worth noting that some insurers will only insure a pet up to a certain age. Certain breeds of dogs are often not covered under insurance, so it’s essential to check the level of cover as basic policies may only cover accidents, not illness.

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