Finding a Vet  

readingqueen 26
Originally Answered: Finding a Vet


My family and I adopted our kitten, Sima, in October of 2020, and now he's about 9 months old. We took him back to where he was adopted from in Kent for a couple of vet visits, included in his adoption fee. Now, we need to find him a vet. Any recommendations on how we might go about doing that, and things we should know? Thanks in advance!

Dr. Chris Vanderhoof, DVM, MPH
Originally Answered: Finding a Vet

Hi there, and although it sounds like you’ve had him for a few months, congrats on adopting Sima!


Here’s some tips from a veterinarian's perspective on how to look for a good fit with a vet in your area.


Not all vet practices are equal to each other and some areas have a lot to choose from. If there’s a lot of practices in your area, start by looking at some general online reviews. Nowadays, I think this is how a lot of people start narrowing down the search. You can also ask friends and neighbors and see if they have a recommendation.


When you’ve whittled your choices down a little, take a look at each practice’s website and have a look at the doctors and staff profiles. Do the doctors have internship training? It’s not required, but it’s a nice plus. Do the doctors have a couple of years of experience under their belt? I would say to look for more than half of the doctors in a practice to have at least 3 or more years.


Next, look at the support staff. Is there any mention of how long staff members have worked there? It’s nice to see when staff members have been there for two, three, or more years. When most staff have been employed at one location for a few years, it implies that it’s a good working environment, which also implies a good experience for you and your kitty when everyone cooperates and gets along. 


Cost is important of course too, because you want to make sure a practice is within your budget. Sometimes online reviews will help indicate this. If not, you can call individual practices once you've narrowed down your search further, and see what their basic exam fee is and how it compares to others in the area. While not definitive, a practice’s exam fee can provide insight into how charges for other services may compare with other practices. 


Last, choosing the right vet may require a trial run. Many folks know when they have a good fit, but only after going through the whole visit experience from start to finish. You should feel comfortable and cared for at every step, from the check-in process, to interacting with a nurse or assistant, to discussing things with the doctor, to the check-out process. 


All doctors have different personalities and all clients have different needs. It helps to get to know all the docs in the practice and how they approach your pet’s health and how they discuss things with you. Make sure you’re comfortable and feel like you have a relationship of mutual trust and respect with your vet. 


I hope that helps, and best of luck finding a good fit for you and Sima.


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