5 Steps to Find the Perfect Local Veterinary Clinic For Your Pets

Choosing or finding a local veterinary clinic for your pet is one of the most important things you’ll have to decide during your pet’s lifetime. Whether you’re looking for a place to take them for immediate treatment or are just searching for a regular place where your pets can get check-ups, picking a good clinic can be a matter of life or death.

Of course, it depends where you’re located, but the tendency for most veterinary clinics is that the doctors will be general practitioners. You’ll want to make sure that the clinic you choose specializes in the kind of pet that you have. This will come in handy if your pets get sick because conditions differ across species.

Chances are, you might be content with your current clinic or you might choose your clinic based on what your friends say. Sure, this is a great starting point but don’t stop looking for other options--at the end of the day, your friends’ pets’ needs might not be the same ones that your pets will need.

In this article, we’ll be talking about the different measures you can take to find a veterinary clinic for your furry friends. Keep reading to see what we’ve got in mind!

1. Plan as Much as You Can

Hands making a list of questions for the vet

Preparation is always key. It’s very hard to make a sound decision when you’re unprepared. Make a list of clinics in your area and have set criteria to judge them by: are you prioritizing emergency care? Are you more concerned with how they source their vaccinations? Or are you more interested in the Doctors’ credentials?

If you don’t have a list, you might get easily swayed once you’re at the clinic. Having a list gives you a guide so you remember exactly what it is that you’re looking for. You can also make a separate list of questions that you’d like to ask--this will keep the people at the clinic on their toes.

2. Observe, Observe, Observe!

Dog owner watching the vet work on his dog

Don’t settle for a regular sales call--ask them if they can show you around the clinic. Explain to the nurses and doctors that you aren’t just here for a one-time thing, you’re looking for the place that will be your pet’s go-to clinic. Doctors and staff are usually happy to show you around and get a chance to walk you through the work that they do on a day-to-day basis.

Once your there, make sure that you read between the lines. Observe the way that they prepare their equipment. Take note of how sanitary the surfaces are. And perhaps most importantly, try to see how they treat and handle the pets. Are they rough? Gentle? Do the pets’ beds look like they’re well-kept?

Look around and try to visualize your pet in this space. Would you feel safe leaving them here if they needed to stay overnight? Is the environment safe or are there a lot of sharp objects lying around? How do the other pets look? Are they kept or do they look neglected?

These are tiny touches that someone who isn’t prepared might miss, but they’re all crucial to your pet’s health. Clinics and hospitals are common places for pets to pick up infections--and you definitely don’t want that!

3. Accreditations & Memberships Matter

Veterinary Diploma

Accredited veterinary clinics will definitely have some indication of their accreditation's and memberships hung up on the wall, along with their doctors’ credentials.

If they don’t, feel free to ask them about it--it could be that they’re renting and they can’t hang up stuff on the wall; most places will be open to showing you their awards and certificates upon request.

One of the big accreditations to look out for cat owners is the International Society of Feline Medicine membership. A more general membership to check out is the American Veterinary Medical Association, which hosts most veterinary practitioners. If they don’t have any certificates to show you, take this as a red flag--this isn’t the clinic for you!

Most accredited veterinary clinics will have their certificates of accreditation and membership on display. This usually reflects the vet’s specializations. For example, if they have the International Society of Feline Medicine membership and you have a cat, then this is a great place to go.

4. Check Out the Pets

Pets and owners waiting at the veterinary clinic

We cannot emphasize more how important it is to take note of how the pets are treated--how are they taken in and out of their carriers? Do their coats look shiny and neat? Watching the doctors are easy--it’s the veterinarian assistants and technicians that you have to keep your eye on.

They’re usually the ones who spend a lot of time with the pets, administering medicine and watching over them. The environment is a major source of stress for pets: if they’re handled roughly or if they aren’t played with, they can become depressed and unhappy.

Grumpy technicians who are rough with animals is a big red flag. Once you see any of the pets being mistreated or mishandled, then definitely get out of there. You may also want to report the clinic to the authorities so that they can correct this malpractice.

5. Do They Have Specialists in Nursing & Spaying?

Nurse holding cat after spaying

Reproductive health is very important for your pets--most especially if they’re under six months old and you’re still undecided about breeding them or having them spayed. Some pets that are still fertile will definitely need nursing care once they give birth, and the pets that will be spayed need a safe space to recover after the procedure.

Take note that nursing and spaying specialists need to know how to handle different types of animals. Dogs and cats don’t nurse the same way--and the same goes for spaying. Ask them for a record of their successful operations and ask them questions that are specific to your pet and their species.

Final Thoughts

Finding a veterinary clinic for your pet is very important. It affects your pet’s health and happiness. Be smart: choose the clinic that ticks all the boxes. Keep these tips in mind and you’re sure to end up at some of the great, well-accredited vet clinics like the Sugarland Vet Clinic in Bundaberg. Take care of your pets like they take care of you!

Did you enjoy reading our tips to find a veterinary clinic for your pets? Let us know in the comments below!

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