How to Find the Right Care for Your Pet

 

Choosing the right veterinarian for your pet is an important decision for you and your furry friend.  Your St Louis veterinarian should be there to keep your pet healthy and ultimately make you feel comfortable that your loved one is getting the best care.   Here are a few things to consider when selecting a veterinarian in St Louis.


Recommendations

Asking your friends and family can be one of the best ways to find the right veterinarian.  Families that live in your area likely know some good vets to check out.  You could also speak with breeders, groomers, local shelter managers, and even local animal trainers.  Google reviews are also a good place to get started as well 😊.  It is important for you and your pet to feel comfortable around your veterinarian.  The veterinarian will play a significant role in your pet’s life, so keep looking until you find the right one.


Find a Vet with Experience Treating Your Animal

Most veterinarians have experience treating cats and dogs, but there are many that specialize in working with different types of animals, some of them may have more experience treating rabbits, reptiles, birds etc.  You will want to work with a veterinarian who has expertise in treating your pet specifically, so it is a great idea to ask about how much experience they have with your animal species before you get started.  Consider your pet’s age, breed, and health concerns.


Look for Licensed Professional Dedicated to Continuing Education

Although most people would assume this would be given, that is not always the case. Make sure that your veterinarian is licensed in your state. You can ask to see their licenses or contact your state board of veterinary medicine for more information. 

 

Ask About How They Approach Care

A veterinarian is not just there to prescribe medication, but to provide proactive care throughout the life of your loved one. Vets do have different approaches when it comes to pets and medication. It is a great idea to briefly chat with your potential vet to get their thoughts about wellness and prevention issues. If they are not on the same page with you, then you should keep looking.

 

Additional considerations related to care include their approach to preventative care, pain management, surgery, spaying and neutering, holistic treatments etc. as well as what they offer at their facility such as digital x-rays, dental x-rays, pet dental care, ultrasounds etc.
 

Location

A close location is always convenient when you are taking your pet to the vet; however, it is important to weigh the other criteria in this article with how close they are to your home.  If your new veterinarian does not provide 24-hour emergency care, no worries this is quite common, they can help you identify the nearest 24-hour facility, in case of emergency.
 

Facility

Like many things in life, cleanliness, can sometimes be reflective of pride in what you do. If the clinic seems a little dingy or dirty, this may be a sign to move on.  Take a tour and observe whether the office is clean and well organized. Ask about the different services the clinic offers, the hours they are open, and what provisions are made for emergency coverage.  Other factors to consider may include hours to meet your work schedule and pricing.  Once you have identified one or two potential vets, plan a visit without your dog or cat to get a feel for the facility. Most veterinary practices will be more than happy to give you a tour.

A quality vet clinic in St Louis should not only be measured by the veterinarian, but also by their staff.  A competent staff will make sure experience is best in class for both you and your loved one.
 

Fees

As with most products or services, you get what you pay for. Your best course of action is to ask about costs of procedures, and what methods of payments are available and expected.  Are payment plans or financial assistance options available if you need them? If your pet is insured, does the clinic accept your insurance plan?

 

Overall Clinic Experience

Your first in-person visit should leave you feeling positive about the clinic and staff.  Communication is a critical part of quality vet care. Your pet cannot tell the doctor where it hurts, so it is up to us humans to do the talking. You should feel comfortable asking questions, and the vet should listen thoughtfully and offer clear, direct explanations.  The relationship with your veterinarian should be a collaboration: you both want what is best for your pet and by working together, you can provide outstanding care for your pets.