- Confirm that the appearance of the veterinary facility is clean and orderly.
- Introduce yourself to the vet staff at the front desk, and request an appointment to tour the facility. Prepare questions in advance and take them with you.
- Ask whether or not your vet provides boarding services. If boarding is needed, ask to see the space where your animal might be staying. During this time, observe the general environment and cleanliness. Ask the staff about feeding, exercise and play schedules, as well as whether interaction with other animals is allowed/should be expected.
- Make sure you know when the veterinarian accepts appointments. Also find out how to reach help in the event of an after-hours emergency.
- Find out what veterinary services (x-rays, blood work, and other diagnostics) are performed in-house vs. referred to an outside specialist.
- Confirm that the vet’s office and parking amenities are accessible, especially in the event urgent care becomes necessary.
- Ask about the veterinarian’s payment policies, and find out what methods of payment are accepted. Ask whether the office provides estimates for services in advance, and how any need for unforeseen care and costs are treated.
- Once you find a vet you enjoy working with, be consistent—visit the same vet hospital every time, whether for routine care or when your animal is ill or injured. Everyone gets to know each other best this way, and the approach to caring for and treating your animal will be more effective long-term. It also ensures compilation of a complete and accurate medical record for your animal.
Your relationship with your vet should be a long-term partnership. You should be comfortable with your vet and his or her support staff.