What are some tips on how to find a good vet?
Original Question: I am wondering if you have any vets you could recommend with honesty being my number one concern and reasonable rates ($) being my second concern. I live in Etobicoke but am willing to travel if it means better care for my cat at a reasonable cost. Thank you. - Markus
Thanks for your question.
I’ve got a couple of suggestions here for finding a good veterinarian and the first one is just to ask your neighbourhood pet owners. That can be when you’re out on a walk, it can be on local Facebook groups, that kind of thing. Ask work colleagues as well and talk to the people who live in the local area and find out who they use, why they’ve made that decision and who they recommend. Google and online reviews, in general, is obviously another source of information but just bear in mind that any bad reviews only ever tell one side of the story. So as vets, we’re not actually allowed to answer if there’s a bad review and give an explanation or maybe explain why things weren’t quite as the reviewer is reporting and so take these things with a little pinch of salt. Equally, if there are lots of good positive reviews and there’s a couple of bad ones, even if they really, really bad, then you know it’s likely that they’re the exception and very often it’s the case that you can tell when someone’s got an axe to grind.
The next step would be to call into the clinic that you’re thinking of using just to chat to the reception staff to see if they offer the environment that you’re looking for. Some people would like a more sterile, clean clinic while others will prefer a more homely atmosphere. It can’t be expected that every clinic will please every person so you need to find what’s right for you. You can ask them the price of common procedures so if you’re looking for something that charges lower rates compared to higher rates then that’s one way of determining that. There are a couple of things to think about here though. The first is that some clinics will charge very low rates for routine procedures but when it comes to a pet being sick or needing a bigger surgery, they charge an awful lot more than another clinic who might charge a little bit more for routine procedures. Now that’s something that’s quite difficult to gauge, but something to consider as well.
You should think about scheduling an initial review consultation. That way you can meet the vets and your vet can meet you and your pets. They can review the history and they can talk about what you are looking for in a vet and that’s very important. It lets them know what kind of veterinary care that you want for your pet and see if that’s something that they are able to provide. Very often this actually has nothing to do with the standard of care given, but it’s really important that you feel that you can trust your vet and also that your vet feels that they can trust you. The key is that both parties are open and communicating well.
I hope this helps.
Dr. Alex Avery
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