How do I choose a vet?

Finding a vet that is right for you and your pet is one of the most important decisions you will make. If you are a new pet owner, it’s a good idea to have chosen your vet before you actually need one! This way, you can relax knowing that your pet is already registered should you suddenly need an appointment.

There are various factors that you might like to consider when you are finding a vet.

  • Recommendations

A great place to start is by asking around for recommendations. You might have local friends who can recommend their own vets. Alternatively, local pet groomers, boarding kennels or catteries, and pet shelters, may be able to advise you. And of course, you will be able to check reviews online

  • Location

The location of your vet is crucial. You need to make sure that you can get your pet to the veterinary clinic easily, so finding a vet within a short distance is a good idea.

  • Website

Have a good look through the websites of local vets that you are considering. This will start to give you an idea of locations, any specialised services offered, emergency care facilities, and possibly pricing

  • What veterinary services are important to you?

o   Find out about the vet’s out of hours service – some will carry out their own out of hours service on-site, whereas others will use a separate site, perhaps run by a third party. If your pet had an emergency in the middle of the night, you need to know where to go.

o   If specialist services such as alternative treatments or holistic therapies are important to you, find out if your prospective vet offers these.

Meeting your vet

When you first meet your vet, this is a great opportunity to have a chat and make sure that you find them easy to communicate with. If you have a new puppy or kitten, it’s likely you’ll meet your vet first of all to have a check-up and first vaccinations.

Make regular visits to your vet – that relationship is so important. If you are ever in a situation where your pet has a serious issue, it’s very helpful to have already built that relationship between you, your pet and your vet.

Ask a vet

There are plenty of “ask a vet” services available online, however we recommend that you find a reputable local vet, so that you have peace of mind that your pet can be seen easily whenever needed.

If you have an Agria Pet Insurance policy, you can access the free Pet Health Helpline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The veterinary-trained team will advise on any concerns or queries that you may have over your pet’s health – much like the NHS 111 service for people. Call free on 03333 32 19 47.