Things to consider when choosing a VET.
Choosing a vet for your kitty is supposed to be easy...
Well, if you're one of those kitty parents who are very peculiar about who takes care of their kitty (I confess, I'm one of those), then you'd have to do a bit of research.
The basic things to consider when choosing a veterinarian clinic are pretty simple:
Does the clinic you've chosen to consider have a good reputation? One way to check are reviews. If you see that there are nearly an EVEN amount of negative with the positive (or "heaven forbid" a lot more negative) reviews, please do not even try to book an appointment with that clinic.
Is the place clean, well-maintained, and up-to-date with at least most of the current amenities? You should look for a place that has a decent computer system, along with more recent medical tools. You wouldn't want your pet to be in a place that smells like POOP or PEE everywhere.
Is the clinic staff good at responding to questions in a timely manner and checks in with you to remind you of your appointments? I know that it should definitely be our responsibility to remember appointments, but life gets busy...and your kitties are surely not going to remind you. Sometimes, we need a little help, and a call from the vet to remind you can go a long way. You also want to find a place that have staff who are knowledgeable about basic pet things, and if the person who answers the phone can't tell you, there has to be some other staff who can assist you.
Do they have a friendly staff? Yes. This is very important. You don't want to see people who look like they'd rather be elsewhere. You want people to make sure that they actually care about your pet. Also, keep a look out for how friendly the staff is with your kitty. How they handle your kitty's comfort. To be honest, I've heard horror stories of some vet techs who use too much force necessary to hold a kitty down.
Is the vet accredited? From all my research before when searching for a good vet, I found that the best veterinary clinics are accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). The AAHA evaluates veterinary practices based on their facilities, equipment, staff, and care. If you want to see if there are any accredited veterinary clinics in your area, you can definitely check on the AAHA website.
Is your vet a cat specialist? Now, this might not be important to most kitty parents. But for those who want a vet who specializes in felines, you might have to do a bit of searching. There are some general veterinary clinics that have in-house feline specialists. And although all vets have an understanding of most animals, you should definitely look for one who loves cats and are very experienced with them.
Other things to consider:
Looking for 24-hour EMERGENCY CLINIC. Usually, your primary veterinarian clinics have business hours from 8am-6pm, and some who open until 8pm. If this is the case, you would want to discuss with your vet on who they recommend for EMERGENCY cases. Make sure there's a place where they have a good working relationship with your vet. Because things can happen at all hours of the day.
Does your vet clinic offer dental cleaning or other dental work? It's funny, I didn't think I'd ever need this service, but a clean mouth is quite important in regards to the health of your kitty. Gum disease is no joke! It can be an underlying condition. So, be sure to ask if your vet is equipped to handle dental care.
Does your choice of vet clinic have the proper equipment in their facility? You wouldn't want to go elsewhere for any lab work, x-rays or ultrasounds - that's too much of a hassle, especially if you have a special-needs kitty.
Does the place have proper monitoring equipment for when they have to put your kitty under sedation/anesthesia for an operation? You want to make sure the place has up-to-date equipment, but you also want to make sure they have the PROPER equipment for what needs to be done.
In case of any emergencies, be sure that you know your vet's protocols and what arrangements they have with emergency clinics. Just in case you need to leave your kitty overnight at the vet, and if there's an emergency, be sure that they know to notify you ASAP.
Does the clinic use cat-friendly pheromones? It's no surprise, cats don't really like to be lugged around places when they'd rather be at home relaxing. Sometimes, they even get a bit anxious when they leave the comfort of home. So, one extra thing to look for in a vet's clinic is whether or not they use those synthetic feline pheromones to help relax your kitty while you wait or while they're in the exam room. The usual synthetic pheromones that is used is called FELIWAY - it's a diffuser that you plug into an outlet (or even sprayed in the waiting room).
How comfortable is your kitty there? Sure, there's always going to be a level of anxiety when you take your kitty away from home, but watch how your kitty interact with the staff. If they seem comfortable enough and not going crazy (scratching, hissing, growling, etc.), it might be a great place for your kitty. Make sure the staff know how to handle a cat correctly and not hurt them when they try to scruff them (if necessary).
I know...owning kitties can be a bit exhausting! You have to learn so many things to take care of them and make sure they get the proper care if they ever get sick. BUT! The reward outweighs all that exhaustion.
Well, folks, I hope you learned something today!
As always, be kind to each other, be kind to animals, love your pets!