Thursday, March 22, 2007

How to Choose a Good Veterinary Hospital
 by: Diana Romaxx

One of the most important decisions that you can make as a pet owner is choosing where to take your pet for medical care. One of the best ways to learn about veterinary hospitals in your area is to simply ask around. Inquire where your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors go and if they can make any recommendations. We found our dog's veterinarian through recommendations from our friends at our local park.

Another way that you can search for a new veterinarian doctor or hospital is by looking on-line or through the yellow pages. There will certainly be a lot of listings that will include information about licensing, certification, a list of services, office hours, etc., and although it’s important to look for specific qualities when choosing a veterinarian, location is also a big factor. But don’t decide to go to ABC Animal Hospital just because it’s closest to your home. It's possible that by driving a few more extra miles you could find a veterinarian that could provide you with more specialty services that might even save you more money in the long run.

Many veterinary hospitals cater to working individuals by offering late office hours. This can be a godsend especially if you are dealing with a pet that has a chronic disease or a condition that requires regular check-ups and prescription refills. Some hospitals also offer 24-hour care and emergency services on-site while others will refer you somewhere else, even during regular business hours. Be sure to ask about emergency services when seeking out an animal hospital so that you can be prepared in case something unexpected happens.

Be sure to visit any hospital where you plan to take your pet. While visiting you could also ask if you can possibly take a tour of the facility. Pick up brochures to take home with you such as a price list of sevices offered, etc. You may read information about how to choose the right “doctor” for your pet and it is important to feel comfortable with your pet’s veterinarian, so don't be afraid to ask questions. Remember this could be your pet's veterinarian for many years to come.

The intimacy that a one-doctor veterinarian hospital offers can be very reassuring because when something goes wrong with your pet you will always see the same doctor. However, a one-doctor staff also means that office hours are going to be limited, especially when the doctor goes on vacation, leaves for a conference or an unexpected emergency. So it would be a good idea to discuss these scenarios with your veterinarian. He may have a veterinarian colleague that temporarily fills in for him while he is away or he may offer another alternative solution.

In any event, you might also consider making alternative plans with another veterinarian hospital so that you have other options when your regular veterinarian is not available. You would have great peace of mind knowing that someone else will be there as a back-up in case your pet became ill, someone to call if you needed advice or simply to ask a question.

Planning your pet's medical care takes time and energy, but is well worth the effort, because once you have found the care and services of a good veterinarian, you know that these were the important decisions that helped to provide the foundation of your pets good health and long life.

About The Author

by: Diana Romaxx, of Maxxamillion's Dog House. She publishes articles for her dog's website