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6 Tips for Choosing a New Veterinarian

In some ways, choosing a veterinary clinic to care for your furry family member is like dating – it’s all about finding the right match for what’s important to you! Here are some questions you can ask to help you in your search for “the one”.

1. Do you treat my pet’s species, and if so, are you accepting new patients?
Just like in human medicine, many veterinarians are working at capacity and may be unable to accept new patients. Therefore, the best time to start looking for a new vet is before you need one!

2. How many doctors do you have?
Multi-doctor practices may have more ability to accommodate last-minute emergencies and may have later office hours. A single-doctor team may be better for a pet parent who prefers to deal with the same medical team each time and has more flexibility in their own schedule.

3. What diagnostic and specialty services do you offer?
Many clinics will refer out for services such as ultrasound, X-rays, dental care and lab work. However, others may offer some of these services in-house, giving you faster access to care if needed.

4. How do you handle after-hours emergencies?
Understanding your veterinarian’s protocols in advance can be lifesaving. Some veterinarians may cover their after-hours emergencies, others may refer to the closest 24/7 facility, and others may offer free or paid tele-triage services.

5. What do you offer for end-of-life care?
Often, the most important appointment you will ever have with your furry family member is the last one. Some clinics may have a comfort room with a private exit, and others may even offer at-home euthanasia.

6. What do you value?
For many pet parents, this is the most important question. Look at the duration of their appointments, their online presence, any special services they offer (such as free delivery, wellness plans or a clinic app) and the training they provide for their team (such as “Fear Free”) as an indication of their values, to see if they align with your own pet parenting philosophies.

Choosing a team to trust with your furry family member can be a huge decision, especially when experiences can vary so greatly. No matter your decision, just keep in mind that you and your veterinary team have at least one shared core value: you both truly want what’s best for your furry family member!


Dr. I. Wonder is here to answer your questions regarding your furry family members. If you have a question, email it to us at danielle@NeighbourhoodPetClinic.com. Our team at Neighbourhood Pet Clinic will tap into their collective experience to answer your various questions.


Questions? Comments? Contact us today!

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