How to Choose a Veterinary Hospital
As the average number of animals per home rises yearly, new pet hospitals crop up in volumes all over the country. Some of the most critical life decisions are related to health care – and this also goes for the pets we consider family.
The following are tips and factors to look into as you look for a veterinary hospital:
The best way to start your vet search is by filtering for AAHA accreditation. Having it means the American Animal Hospital Association has conducted a meticulous independent analysis of the hospital in different aspects, from pharmaceutical provisions to emergency services to record keeping and so on. Once AAHA accreditation has been granted, periodic evaluations will be conducted as a requirement to maintain status. In the US and Canada, only 12-15 % of all veterinary practices are AAHA Accredited. Make this a priority when choosing a vet hospital. You should never comprise on quality of care.
Personal Referrals and Online Reviews
After removing the non-AAHA accredited veterinary hospitals on your list of prospects, it’s time to do your research on those remaining locations. And the Internet couldn’t be a better place to do it. There are tons of information out there, especially in social media. Read those reviews! But of course, you can’t beat personal referrals or recommendations from people you actually know and trust, like friends, family members, etc. If you’re new in the area or if you’re a newbie at pet care, you can always count on the local veterans and their valuable insight. They might be able to offer you bird’s eye view a certain facility’s strengths and weaknesses, or recommend certain vets if your pet has special needs.
Making a Choice
Create your final list of at least two or three potential vets based on accreditation and recommendations, as well as on practical factors like location and fees. Then you can go visit every one of these places to get a vibe of them yourself. All of them may be AAHA-accredited and all of they may have such great reputations in the community, but before you actually choose, consider your gut. Ask for an appointment with a vet and take your pet with you. It will be a great opportunity – without making a long-term commitment yet – to observe how they get along together or how the vet deals with the animal.
Besides, knowing different vets or becoming familiar with more than animal hospitals is always a good thing – you’ll never know when you’ll need options or alternatives. At the end of the day, you have to use all available resources, weigh them, and then use your best judgment.