By Adan C Hayden
Choosing the right animal hospital for your pet is very important for their health as well as your peace of mind. This article will cover some of the things you should look for in an animal hospital if you're looking for a veterinary care provider for your pet. Knowing how to compare animal hospitals can help you to make a good decision about where you should bring your pet when they're in need of medical care.
The first step is to ask family, friends and colleagues where they take their pets for veterinary care. It can be a challenge to find the right animal hospital for your pet; if you live in a rural area, there may not be a lot of choices. In a large city, you may have dozens of different animal hospitals to choose from. In both cases, this can make it difficult to decide on the right hospital. The opinions of other pet owners who have had their pet cared for at a particular animal hospital are the best source of information about the level of care given. Both positive and negative views are good to know; after all, you don't want your companion animal being given anything but the best possible care.
Secondly, here are a few basic guidelines if you need to choose a good animal hospital. Ask to see the veterinarian's license and start by asking if there is a registered veterinary technician on staff at the animal hospital. Doing this means that you have qualified staff working there, for example, a registered veterinary technician has passed the regulated state tests for all vets: education is essential because a registered technician will have the experience and skills that are prerequisites for required proper pet treatment and examinations. Please note: you should only allow a registered per technician to treat you pet and administer shots and pills (almost all animal hospitals will have non-registered employees working for them).
You should meet with the veterinarian before making your decision as well. Ask about their experience as a veterinarian, including how long they've been providing health care to animals. It's your decision how many years of experience you want your vet to have, but in general the longer they've been practicing, the more confident you can feel about having them care for your pet.
One thing to take note of is if the vet's license is a permanent license; a temporary license indicates that you're talking to an intern rather than a fully licensed vet. You probably don't want to have someone who's not even finished with their education taking care of your pet. Ask the veterinarian what the vet techs on staff at the hospital do in the course of their work, for example what their duties and responsibilities are there.
You should always ask when visiting an animal hospital what veterinary services are offered at the hospital. For example, do they offer urgent care - and if so, what hours are these services offered? Does the hospital perform surgeries and other more complex health care services? Does the hospital offer services like training for puppies and dogs? Does the hospital provide dietary and nutritional services? How about geriatric pet care?
Check if the hospital has a website and if so, what information about the hospital and its staff is provided there. Remember that just calling an establishment an animal hospital says nothing about the quality of care they provide there. If you may need emergency veterinary care, you'll want to be sure that the animal hospital's care and services are of the highest quality. If your family, friends or co-workers don't have any recommendations for you, you can find a good animal hospital by touring different ones and asking plenty of questions.
You should always tour any animal hospital you're thinking of taking your pets to when you go there to interview the veterinarian. Pay especially close attention to the cleanliness of examination rooms and surgical areas. These should be as clean and sterile as at any hospital for humans; check for debris on the floor or dirt under tables. A good animal hospital will also seem well organized and free of unpleasant odors beyond the smell you'd expect in a building which sees visits from a lot of animals. Any out of the ordinary smells can be a sign that the sanitation in the animal hospital is not up to par and that you may want to keep looking for somewhere to provide your pet with veterinary care.
These guidelines can help you to make a better decision when choosing an animal hospital for your pet's care. Get a referral if possible, listen to the opinions of others who have taken their pets there, make sure they are properly licensed, find out the roles of the staff within the hospital and speak to the veterinarian while touring the hospital. This should give you the information you need to decide on the best animal hospital in your area to care for your pets health.