How to Choose a Veterinarian


Working as a team with your veterinarian helps guarantee that your pet will live a full and healthy life. Selecting someone who has the same level of passion about pet care that you have is the first step. The information below will help you in your search.


  • Ask someone you trust for a recommendation. Advertisements supply information about services offered, but a personal recommendation is best.

  • Call to make an appointment for a visit to meet the veterinarian and the staff.

  • Visit the facility, checking for cleanliness, a relaxed professional atmosphere and staff members who are ready to answer your questions and give you a tour.

  • Find out whether the veterinarian belongs to professional organizations, is affiliated with local humane societies and emergency clinics and provides referral services when needed.

  • Ask questions about your pet’s care, paying close attention to the answers. These responses are key to making certain you have the right person for the job.

  • Request to visit the animal care wards and kennel areas; these should be squeaky clean, odor-free, warm, dry and comfortable at all times – no exceptions!

  • Choose a veterinary clinic that allows you to see the same doctor during each visit so that he or she will become familiar with you and your pet, and vice versa.

  • Make an appointment to take your pet for a get-acquainted visit. Observe how the veterinarian and staff interact with you and your pet.


  • Knowing that a veterinarian is well-educated and knowledgeable about animal health is important, but compassion for animals is an absolute necessity.

  • Although choosing a veterinary clinic based on location is tempting and traveling is stressful for your pet, the extra driving may be worth it to receive quality care.

  • Trust your instincts and ask for a second opinion if you think one is warranted.

  • All veterinarians who practice in the United States must be graduates of an accredited school of veterinary medicine and must have a current license on display.