Do you have a kitty that snuggles with you? Do you have a puppy that darts after the ball and quickly brings it back? Your precious furry animals are part of the family, and they need health care just like the rest of you. Finding the right doctor’s office can be tricky. Without a doubt, you want a veterinarian who tends to your pets with as much care as you give them. For this reason, you’ll want to spend time finding the right place. Don’t settle. Find someone who offers you what you desire with a personality that feels right.

Personable

When you go to the office, do people know your loved one? If you bring in your dog, do the technicians recognize him by name? Do they smile at his sight? Hopefully, they do. You want the entire staff to show affection and care. There should be an evident passion for animals. Watch how they handle him. Is he comfortable in the tech’s arms? Is he crying and trying to run away? The experience, while not always pleasant (frankly, your animal isn’t going to LOVE the person who gives shots), should be overall pleasant. Next, think about you. As the owner, you want to surround yourself with people who will answer questions, give advice and (above all else) LISTEN. Why? You are a direct line of contact for your pet. You know habits and behaviors. The vet needs you to communicate any changes or anomalies. Find someone who trusts your instincts and is open to your observations.

Price

Vet bills get expensive. One of the first things you want to consider is how reasonable the vet’s services are. Do some research here. While people don’t like to “talk price,” it is important. Ask neighbors and family how much their recent bills cost. You don’t necessarily want to go cheap. Quality does cost money; however, you don’t need to pay elite prices. Then, call vets and ask for estimates. Finally, think about what you need at the office and what you can do elsewhere. Can you shop for cat vaccinations online to save money? Ask your vet about options that help you.

Flexibility

Some doctors are more particular about how they handle medical issues. You may want to find someone who is a bit more adaptable to your schedule or lifestyle. If your dog gets chronic ear infections, you can’t afford to return to the office every month. Ask about whether you can have a long-term treatment plan. Can you get the drops for the year? Is there a holistic approach to the solution? Ultimately, find a way to make it easier on you and your pet.

Location

How far are you willing to drive for good care? Sometimes a good vet is just too far of a drive. Consider finding someone within a 30-minute radius. This is important for several reasons. If an emergency happened, could you get there? Can you easily drop off and pick up at the area? How convenient is this spot to your errands or work environment? Find a location that works and makes going to the vet easy. This might make it easier for you to add it to your planner.

Schedule

Life doesn’t always work on a 9 to 5 schedule. Sometimes you need a vet in the evening. Other times, your pet might get sick on a Saturday. Pet ER clinics are expensive. Ask your vet about after hour calls or weekend hours.

Keeping your pet healthy is important. Don’t hesitate to do some research and ask around. Find an office that welcomes you and your pet. You both deserve good, proper care.