How to find the right vet for your pet

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Disclaimer: This information is general in nature only. While Budget Direct has endeavoured to ensure the information we’ve relied on is accurate and current, we do not guarantee it. Budget Direct accepts no liability for this information.

For so many of us, our pets are part of the family. And as a fully-fledged family member we want to make sure they get the quality medical care they need.

A good veterinarian can make a huge difference in helping your furry friend live a long and healthy life, so it makes sense to take the time to find the right one!

A professional veterinarian should be able to look after your pet’s routine healthcare needs, foresee potential medical issues, provide appropriate preventative care and handle pet emergencies as they arise.

Finding a suitable veterinary practice for your pet is a personal choice, but there are certainly ways to make the process easier.

Here are our top tips for choosing a veterinarian in Australia:

Think about the distance

Finding a clinic, afterhours emergency vet or specialist centre close to home isn’t just convenient – in an emergency, that close proximity could save your pet’s life. Make sure to choose a practice that’s easy to drive to and has ample parking.

What kind of care does your pet need?

Just like our own doctors, some veterinarians are general practitioners and some are specialists in their field. They may focus on dogs, cats, horses and other large animals. Others specialise in the care of birds, wildlife and exotic animals.

There’s no such thing as a ‘one size fits all’ veterinarian, so please do your research. Make sure you ask questions and choose a vet that understands your pet’s needs and medical conditions.

Check accreditation and experience

Find out where your vet is accredited. Vets are accredited through the state board of veterinary surgeons in their state (i.e. Veterinary Surgeons Board of Queensland). They can also be members of the professional association AVA (Australian Veterinary Association).  

Some veterinarians choose to be specialists; acquiring further accreditation, after becoming a vet. Specialists include; ophthalmologist, oncologist, dermatologist, orthopaedic surgeons, diagnostic imaging etc.

You’ll need to know where your nearest specialist hospital and services are should your pet ever need to visit one.

Personal recommendations

Choosing the right vet comes down to trust. You want a veterinary practice with a proven track record of treating pets well and dealing with people professionally.

Make sure to talk to other pet owners and those who work in the pet industry, including: groomers, pet-sitters and kennel owners. They should be able to give you some outstanding recommendations.

Once you’ve got a short list, you can start contacting veterinary clinics and ask them any specific questions that you may have. Whichever clinic provides the answers you’re most comfortable with will go to the top of your list.

Check them out in person

Visiting a pet clinic can be useful, not just to ask questions in person but so you can meet some of the staff. This will help you get a feel for the place and find out what kind of facilities they have to offer.

Most high-end veterinary practices will have ultrasound and X-ray machines, dentistry equipment, eye pressure, blood pressure monitoring systems and IV pumps.

If the clinic has facilities for keeping pets overnight, it’s important to ask whether they have overnight monitoring. Make sure that they have established emergency procedures, protocols and find out whether the clinic provides any extra services like cat boarding or puppy training.

You can also inquire about surgery, pain management, holistic care (if you’re interested in alternative treatments) and after-care support.

Developing a comfortable rapport

It’s important to develop a comfortable, communicative rapport with your vet. If the communication doesn’t feel right, for any reason, that could be a sign you need to look elsewhere.

The right veterinarian will be able to interact in a friendly and caring manner with your pet, other pet owners and clinic staff. They’ll ultimately show an obvious enthusiasm and love for their work overall.

Compare prices

One thing pet owners will soon discover, is that prices for veterinary care in Australia can fluctuate quite rapidly. The cost of owning a pet in Australia can be on the pricier side with vaccinations specifically ranging from: $85 to $130.

Whether the practice is franchised or independent can make a difference in the price structure too. No matter which vet you end up choosing, it’s worth looking into pet insurance. It can certainly help deal with those lofty vet bills that crop up during your pet’s lifetime.

Key takeaways:

  • Veterinarians in Australia vary considerably in experience level and price.
  • Check the accreditation of veterinarians and their staff and find out how long nurses and assistants have been working for the vet practice.
  • Professionals in the pet industry (kennel owners, groomers, pet-sitters) should be able to give you great recommendations for veterinary clinics.
  • A veterinary clinic close to where you live is not only more convenient but could save your pet’s life in an emergency.

This post was brought to you by Budget Direct Pet Insurance

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