If you’re a new pet owner, some of the first things you need to do is make sure you have a veterinarian and a pet wellness clinic lined up. A vet will be who you rely upon in the case of a health emergency. They’re also going to be the ones who will help you ensure pet wellness through regular checkups.

For new pet owners, deciding on a vet can sometimes be challenging. How do you know what makes the best veterinarian option for your pet? How do you make sure that you find a pet wellness clinic that provides what your pet specifically needs in a treatment plan or confidence in previous experience? This blog will help give some advice on how to pick the best vet for your particular needs - and the needs of your pet!

How Do I Find a Vet?

The best advice when finding a veterinarian is to start your research early on. Before you even get your pet, it’s often a good idea to have pet wellness insurance lined up and have at least 1-2 top options of which vet you will use.

The best method of finding a vet tends to be through direct recommendation. If you have a friend or family member who has a favorite vet they can recommend, that’s definitely a good place to start looking.

Every state will also have a veterinary medical association with a list of qualified vets. If you find a vet that looks like they might work, make sure to look them up online and get as much information as possible. You start by looking at their google my business listing, reviews on google, social media or various directories, to see what other customers - existing or new have had to say about their experience and their type of pet.

It’s also an excellent idea to choose a vet that is in close proximity to where you live. This lets you better respond quicker in case of an emergency.

When it comes to your pet’s health, taking risks is not worth it!

How Do I Tell If A Vet Is Right For My Pet?

 An image of a vet checking over a dog in a pet wellness clinic

None of us will ever find the “perfect vet,” and you have to have realistic expectations. Of course, it’s perfectly natural to expect a vet to meet your specific needs to an adequate degree. A pet wellness clinic should never leave you feeling that it could have offered more.

But how do you tell if a pet wellness clinic is a good fit for you and your pet? There are a few ways to help you find out.

#1 Visit the Office

Nothing is more enlightening than a visit to the vet’s office itself. There’s only so much you can learn online or over the phone. If the office looks professionally put together, well-staffed, and clean, then you can start investigating with a bit more confidence. This is also the perfect time to see if the staff are friendly and helpful.

#2 Chat With the Vet

Yep, it’s really that easy. But this is among the most essential steps in determining if a vet’s office or pet wellness clinic will be the right fit. Just talking to a veterinarian or vet tech can give you a lot of valuable information about the doctors, staff, and clinic. Firstly, you’ll find out if you’ll get along or not.

Secondly, you can compare their opinions on pet care to your own. You want a vet who is on the same page as you are when it comes to proper pet care. Often times vet clinics will be happy to help answer questions on a phone call before you choose to register your pet.

#3 Certifications

While you’re at the pet wellness clinic and chatting with the vet or looking them up online, it’s a good idea to check out what sort of certifications they have. The very best vets will be accredited by the AAHA.

#4 Availability

One of the most important things to check when it comes to a pet wellness clinic is the levels of availability. The greatest veterinary service in the world can’t help you if you can’t get in to see them!

Availability can actually mean many things. Firstly, it means the number of total vets that work at the clinic. You want to make sure that you have a good chance of someone being available to help.  Secondly, the hours of the clinic are also significant. If you are a 9-5 kind of worker, you will want to ensure that you look for a clinic that offers evenings and/or weekend appointments. You’ll also want to check if there are walk-ins available.

It’s also important to ask what the clinic’s procedures are in case of an emergency and what 24/7 communication options they have. It’s better to fully understand all of this beforehand rather than trying to figure it out during an emergency.

#5 Services and Specialities

Not every vet can do everything. However, your pet wellness plan and pet insurance might cover a wide range of services. So why not try to make sure that the vet you are visiting provides what you are actually getting covered for?

Pet insurance that covers wellness might cover many services, so it’s worth it to be very thorough. You want to find a vet that can match what is offered on your pet wellness insurance plan as best as possible.

So what kind of services should you put on your checklist? Firstly, see how often they can provide you exams annually and what those exams entail. Do they offer blood work for dogs? Fecal tests? Urinalysis?

Does the pet wellness clinic offer anything beyond the medical basics, such as dental visits or grooming? Does the clinic have a pharmacy that can provide you with medication to deal with heartworms or other parasites? What about medication for fleas and ticks?

A clinic doesn’t have to cover absolutely everything in-house. In some cases, they might work with outside specialists for certain services. You must get all of this straightened out and decide if the setup works for you.

#6 Cost

Cost is always going to be a factor in making any purchase or decision in your life. Picking a vet is going to be no different. Of course, your decisions regarding cost will also be affected by what pet wellness insurance you have.

Thankfully, Wagmo’s Pet Insurance Plans and Pet Wellness Plans cover quite a bit between them! With Wagmo, you can worry less about cost and more about the factors that mean your pet is getting the best care possible.