Finding the Right Vet

Dog at the vet

Are you looking for a good veterinarian? Your next veterinarian will come with staff, a facility and more. Make a list of what qualities are most important to you in a veterinarian. Here are some things to consider:
Education / Board Certification / Experience
Some vets take extra steps after vet school, completing internships and/or obtaining board certification. How much does this extra education matter to you? Are you willing to pay extra for it? What about experience? If your dog has a complicated medical problem, you may prefer a vet with experience in that area.
Bedside Manner/Personality
Do you want warm and fuzzy? Someone who listens and really wants to help you and your pet? Or, are you fine with a less interactive vet who is quick and to-the-point?
Medical Practices
Are you looking for a vet who can offer multiple treatment options using up-to-date or even cutting edge medical practices? Or, are you looking for just basic no-frills medical care. There’s nothing wrong with the basics, but if you want to give your dog the best care possible, you need to find a vet who can offer it.
Support Staff
Your vet relies on support staff to keep the clinic running smoothly and take excellent care of patients. Do you want friendly, skilled, knowledgeable, helpful, and compassionate staff who recognize you and your pet? How much do you care about what goes on behind the scenes? Veterinary support staff members do much more than you think.
Is state of the art equipment of great importance? Do you want your vet clinic to have a sleek, high-tech look and feel or a down-to-earth, cozy neighborhood feel? Maybe you are looking for a combination of the two?
Are you looking for a one-stop-shop, or is your search mainly about primary medical care for your pet? Some vets offer boarding, grooming, doggy daycare, physical therapy, and more. Others will refer you to outside businesses for these services. Bigger is not always better, but some people like the idea of an all-in-one animal care center. Others prefer the one-on-one care they can get from a smaller, medical-focused facility.
How far from home are you willing to travel? Does the neighborhood matter? Consider the traffic and how the trip to you vet might affect your dog.
Hours of Operation
Do you need evening or weekend hours due to your schedule? Do you want the option to drop off your pet for the day? Consider your schedule and what will really work for you and your pets.
Cost and Payment Options
Good veterinary care is worth paying for. Do you have financial restrictions? You may want to find a non-profit vet or one who offers payment plans. Are you willing to sacrifice one or more of the other important things on your list? Depending on your area, you might need to compromise.


  1. Hannah says:

    These are great questions to consider before committing to a vet. It’s always more convenient to have one nearby, but if you have to commute a little bit for quality care it’s well worth it.

  2. I just barely got a new dog, and I want to make sure I take him to a good vet clinic for his first few visits. This being said, I really appreciate you giving me some insight about this and letting me know of some ways I can find the right vet to start going to. I’ll be sure to follow your tips and see who I can find. Thanks a ton Mary for your help.

  3. Finding a good vet is high on my list of priorities. I want my dog to have the best experience she can when going to the vet. However, I had never thought about checking the support staff to see how good the facility is, that’s a great tip!

  4. Thank you for talking about the importance of taking into account the distance from you when looking for a vet. It makes sense that keeping this in mind can help you save time and money. I would want to make sure I choose someone I can trust and who cares about taking good care of my pets.

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