7 Ways to Find a New Veterinarian

Pretty young veterinarian examining cat in clinic

by Nancy E. Hassel, ThisFurryLife.com

What do you do when your veterinarian is retiring?  

I just found out that my vet of almost 14 years is retiring in the new year.  While I am, (and many of my friends who go to him), are very sad to see him retire, and know he cannot be replaced, (if we could only clone him, dammit!), I am happy with the other holistic vets at their clinic and will continue to go there for my dog’s veterinary needs.   What do you do if you don’t know how to find a new vet now?

Hopefully, these tips will help you find your new vet or veterinary practice that you will feel confident, comfortable and safe with your new vet.

  1. Ask for a referral from your current veterinarian.  If they are not bringing in anyone new, or perhaps he/she was the only vet in the practice, ask them for a referral of where to go.   They will more than likely be able to refer you to someone they trust and know will be a great candidate for your dog or cats care. 
  2. Ask for referral’s from your inner circle if they are not going to the same vet, or ask within your community who they like, trust and ask them what they like specifically about the practice and vet they go to. 
  3. Interview the veterinarian.  Yup, request an interview with them before you bring your pet.  Now, veterinarians are super busy and may not be able to accommodate you for this, it’s also not SOP (standard operating procedure) but if you don’t ask you don’t get right?  But you may find some open to this.  
  4. If you have been going to a holistic vet, look into the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, to see if there are any holistic vets in your area or state that can also refer you to someone. 
  5. Don’t ask online in a group.  I know this seems counterintuitive, however, have you ever seen a question in one of those dog parent groups?  “What vet do you go to, who do you like?”  Hundreds of answers can be super overwhelming and even more confusing, and everyone has an opinion.  And their opinion may not be the same as yours when it comes to veterinary care, so why would you ask a stranger online? 
  6. If you have a dog trainer, groomer, local pet retailer or other pet care professional – ask them who they go to and why.  
  7. Do your research.  Now that you have a couple of names referred to you, find out what kind of veterinary care they provide, google the name of the veterinarian (you may be surprised what you find) and request an interview with the vet and tour of the facility.   

While finding the right vet that you will feel comfortable with, provide the best veterinary care and also not push products on you that you know you don’t want to use, it can take some time.  And you may find it will take you a few different vets to find that right fit.  

And I would do this before your vet is fully retired, and before you need to have your pet’s next checkup so you don’t rush through the process.  There are many wonderful veterinarians practicing these days and we are fortunate to weigh our options and find the right fit.  

Wishing my vet the best in his retirement and so thankful for all he has done over the years for my own dogs and saving the lives of so many dogs who would otherwise not be thriving today if it was not for his care.   Maybe just maybe a miracle will happen and he will come back to continue his practice – but I am so grateful to have had the fortune to go to him and now always know the best quality of care to have and ask for, for my current and future pets.

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