How do I…. select a veterinary clinic?

by | General Pet Care |

One of the most important aspects of pet care is having a dedicated health professional working with you and your pet to ensure they stay healthy. For many long-term pet owners, this usually means a good relationship with the same veterinarian for many years.

For new pet owners however, it can be daunting and confusing. There are hundreds of veterinarians listed in the Yellow Pages for the Greater Toronto area, how will you know which one is right for your pet?

When I moved into my new area on the West end of Toronto, I had no idea how to find a veterinarian for my puppy (Jersey!). I had always used the same veterinarian up at the farm, but this was a whole new area I was unfamiliar with. There was a huge selection of veterinarians down the street, up the street, and in almost every major mini-mall. How to decide?

I put together a list of questions that related to her healthcare. She would require the standard annual vaccinations, plus some additional shots as I anticipated we would be boarding her out at some point or another while we were on vacation. I am not very good at clipping her nails, so I wanted a veterinarian that offered that as well. I wanted a clean facility, with friendly and knowledgeable staff so I would feel comfortable asking questions. I also liked the idea of a clinic that had late night appointments (up to 7:00pm in my situation) so I could take her in the evenings after work if necessary.

Thanks to the internet, I was able to find several clinics in my area that offered everything I was looking for. While I was walking Jersey one morning, I happened to walk by one of the clinics I was interested in and decided to stop by. The staff was very friendly, and although we were not clients they offered her a dog cookie. They answered all my questions and I loved that the clinic was close to my house. After meeting them, I felt much better about my decision and decided to use them as my regular veterinary team. Over the last three years, they have handled everything from eye infections to shots to canine dentistry. I have been very happy with my decision and was glad I took the time to do the research before selecting them.

When talking to a potential veterinary clinic, be sure to have a list of questions that relate to your particular pet. For example, if your pet has a special needs diet, or is a senior, you will want to find a veterinary clinic that has experience dealing with these particular health issues. The best way to find out is simply giving them a call, or they may have the information available on their website.  Many clinics welcome potential clients to stop by and see their facility and talk with them about their services, so be weary of a clinic that refuses or charges a fee.

Your pet’s health is very important, so be sure to select the right veterinarian to keep your pet happy and healthy!