Finding the Right Vet 

May, 2014 by Alma Abell

For most people, pets are very special members of the family. We want them to live long, happy and healthy lives. Finding the right vet is a very important decision.  Studies show that most people choose their veterinarian based on either the location of the practice, (convenience) or by referrals from friends and family. Though this is a good starting point, there are additional ways to help you find a vet who will care for your puppy or kitten all the way through their adulthood.

What is your plan if your pet has an emergency?
Most of us don’t think about this question until you find yourself in this situation. This is a great question to ask your veterinarian. Usually vets will refer their clients to nearby emergency clinics that are open 24/7. In more rural areas, some veterinarians will take their own call and rotate emergency shifts with other doctors. Finding out the hours of the clinic may be very important – is the clinic open late on certain nights? Do they offer Saturday appointments? This may factor into your overall decision.

Does your pet have a special need?
You will find that most veterinarians find their own “niche” in the world of general practice such as surgery, dentistry, internal medicine, dermatology, etc. Some vets may have a special interest in certain species and/or breeds. For example, not all veterinary practices will see exotic pets such as birds, reptiles, or pocket pets. A vet with special interest in exotic medicine will have a broadened knowledge base of their unique needs.

How can I find this information?
A general web search for veterinarians in your area is a good start. Visit the websites of the clinics that are closest to you and read the bio of each vet. For example, let’s say your college student comes home for the summer with their new Persian kitten. Once fall rolls around and school starts, you suddenly find your home minus one teenager, and plus one cat. What to do now? If you take the time to read the various profiles of veterinarians in your area, you may find that there is a vet just up the road who happens to love feline medicine and owns several Persian cats of her own. Perfect!

All Creatures Hospital in Del Mar, CA has a team of five veterinarians – each with their own unique interests in small animal care. For more information on their services, visit

For ideas on how to choose the right type of Vet, visit the Fan Page

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