Your pet is a member of the family. They need exercise in the summer, the get seasonal allergies, and presents for the holidays too. When they require medical attention, you want to provide the best possible care. While it’s easy to find a vet, locating a local professional who’s a perfect fit for both your pet and you, can be more of a challenge.
You want a veterinarian who has the skills, resources, and services your pet will need at all stages of life. Your search should also focus on finding someone with whom you feel comfortable establishing a long term relationship. The doctor you choose must also get along well with your pet.
While you would probably travel a thousand miles to keep your pet healthy and happy, you likely prefer the Google concept of finding a “veterinarian near me.” The universal search engine uses your location data to find quality veterinarians in your immediate area but that’s just the beginning of your search.
Make a List of Local Veterinarians
Do a Google “Veterinarian near me” search
A Google “veterinarian near me” search is a perfect starting point. Your search will turn up a current list of local professionals. The results will include the requested “veterinarian near me” results. It may also show vets in your general area and in other parts of the state.
Before you start doing focused research or making calls, make sure the listed veterinarians are close enough so as not to inconvenience you when your pet needs care.
Google search results sometimes show street addresses but not always. If you can’t find a location on the search page, look for an address on individual veterinarian websites. You’ll usually find an address when you scroll to the bottom of the “Home Page” or by checking the “About Us” or “Contact Us” pages.
Get referrals from fellow pet lovers
If you prefer to avoid omnipresent search engines and you have friends and family members who also love animals, ask each person for a veterinarian recommendation. Don’t take it for granted that the person giving you a name and a number is pleased with their veterinarian’s care. Some pet parents keep seeing the same vet out of habit or because it’s easier or more convenient.
Before you call, ask the referring person if they’re happy with the care their pet has received and why.
Check Angie’s List
Angie’s List is a free resource with listings for a wide range of professional services. Their site has a search feature that allows you to look up veterinarians in or near your city.
Make a List of Your Most Important Questions
Whether you’re a new or seasoned pet owner or you’ve recently located to a new area, you need a list of search parameters. Your guidelines will assist you in finding the right veterinary professional. Before you begin researching your “veterinarian near me” list, make a list of questions covering the items that are most important to you and your pet.
As you evaluate each new veterinarian, your questions will keep you on track and provide a resource for narrowing down your candidate list. Here are a few questions to help get you started.
What animals do you treat?
Most veterinarians treat dogs and cats. If you have a gerbil, hampster, horse, or some other animal, you need to know ahead of time if they will treat them too. If a local vet can’t care for your pet, you must find out ahead of time where to take them for treatment.
What services do you provide?
Just like humans, animals need a wide range of care options. If your cat is getting older, you need to make sure your new vet can provide senior care. If your dog has internal issues, you need to know if the vet hospital has the technology to perform comprehensive diagnostics.
To make sure a vet on your list provides all of the services your pet may need, look for a list on the vet’s website. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, ask about services when you contact the vet’s office. Here are some important services your pet may need.
- Preventative Care
- Internal Medicine
- Senior Wellness
- Dental Care
- Laser Therapy
- Pain Therapy
Do you have an emergency department?
Accidents happen suddenly and often cause serious injuries. To make sure your pet has access to proper care, you must prepare ahead of time. Before an accident occurs, you need to know if your local vet can provide emergency care or if you’ll need to transport your pet to a hospital miles away. Also, find out the vet’s emergency hours and whether they have a doctor on call.
Do you have the latest diagnostic equipment?
When your pet sustains injuries in an accident or has internal issues, you want a fast diagnosis and immediate treatment. Veterinarians rely on radiology, ultrasound, laser therapy and other technologies that are similar to those used by doctors in diagnosing and treating human patients. You need to know if your veterinarian will have these and other technologies to make your pet’s condition diagnosis more accurate and his treatment more efficient.
Do you provide dental services?
Your pet’s dental health is just as important as yours. You need to know if your vet provides the dental services your pet needs to keep her teeth healthy and strong.
Do you give Vaccinations?
Vaccinations are a critical part of your pet’s wellness care and preventative care. You should determine if the vets on your list provide important Core and Non-Core vaccinations for your cat or dog. Regular immunizations protect your pet from diseases that affect their kidneys, muscles, bones, and neurological and immune systems.
What happens if my pet needs surgery?
When a pet has internal issues or serious fractures, they may require immediate surgery. You need to know if the vet you choose has surgical capabilities. You also need to know if your vet has the facilities for post-surgical overnight care.
Review Veterinarian Websites
You’ll find many answers on a veterinarian’s website. As you search through the “veterinarian near me” listings, click on the site link. When you visit a site, click on the main links to explore relevant topics. You’ll usually find the answers to your most pressing questions.
Check Out Online Veterinarian Reviews
Websites give you a lot of facts about veterinarians and veterinary hospitals. To further narrow down your list, you need more objective information. When you ask the right questions, friends and relatives usually give you realistic information about personal veterinarian experiences. Online reviews provide similar information but from a wider sample of pet owners.
You’ll find veterinarian reviews by conducting a simply worded search of the names on your “veterinarian near me” list. For example, if you search for, “Reviews for Hebron Veterinary Hospital in CT,” the results will show reviews on these trusted sites:
- Angie’s List
Online reviews provide a forum for everyday people to evaluate veterinarian professionalism, performance, and overall results. Reviewers begin by providing a 1-to-5-star rating. Review formats also provide a space to share comments and criticisms. Not every rater chooses to write a narrative. Those who do, often provide information that pet-lovers might want to know but can’t learn by looking at a website.
Because of online anonymity, people feel free to express their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with their veterinary experiences. Commenters talk about personal perceptions like happiness, trust, and comfort. They discuss their visits and tell anecdotes about how their veterinarian handled a pet’s illness or emergency situation.
Once you spend time reading local veterinarian’s online reviews, you will likely have a strong opinion as to which vet will meet your pet’s care requirements.
Make Some Phone Calls
If, at this point, you haven’t narrowed down your search to a single vet, call the remaining doctors on your list. Explain that you’re on a mission to find a new local doctor for your pet and you want to ask a few questions.
If a veterinarian is busy caring for pet-patients, an office manager or another staff member should be able to answer your remaining questions.
Schedule a Checkup
Once you’ve narrowed down your list to a single veterinarian, you and your pet should spend time getting to know your chosen professional. Scheduling an appointment for preventative care or wellness care is the best way to accomplish this.
Call for an appointment
When you call the vet’s office, schedule an appointment and explain what you hope to accomplish. Tell the person who schedules your visit that you’d also like to get to know the doctor and you’d like a brief facility tour.
Meet the veterinarian
During your appointment, you’ll learn almost as much by watching the vet interact with your pet as you learn by asking questions. You’ll get a sense of their skill, professionalism, and empathy. You’ll feel a different type of reassurance than you get from researching online facts and statistics.
Tour the facility
Your veterinarian may arrange a tour either before or after your initial examination. Ask to see all parts of the facility that are accessible to you and your pet. You’ll want to see where you and your pet will spend time during future visits. Here are a few things to look for.
- Overnight quarters for pets
- Emergency department
- State-of-the-art equipment
- Surgical facilities
- A friendly, welcoming staff
Consider your reactions
As you complete your visit, take the time to consider how you feel. People sometimes pay attention to facts and circumstances and ignore their instincts. Facts and instincts are often equally important. Document the facts but as you and your pet exit your initial visit, decide if the experience made you feel comfortable, uplifted, hopeful, or otherwise. Consider any negative feelings that strike you as a red flag.
Remember, your pet has feelings and instincts too. If you’ve been family for a long time, you might be able to interpret your pet’s feeling better than your own. Doctor visits can leave a pet agitated or anxious no matter how great the vet is but be wary of drastic behaviors and overreactions. They may be a hint that your pet wants you to continue your search for the right “veterinarian near me.”
Contact Hebron Veterinary Hospital
If you’re new to pet ownership or new to our area, let us provide the comprehensive care your pet needs. We provide a range of services. We’re highly rated and we treat your pet like family. If you live in the Hebron, Connecticut area, you can find us when your search for a “veterinarian near me.”
Visit our contact page or call us at (860) 228-4324 to find out more about the services we offer.