You’ve adopted a new furry best friend from a rescue and are wondering about high-quality and affordable veterinary care. It’s no secret pet parents spend billions of dollars each year on veterinary medical services for their furry friends. But even before your veterinarian gets involved, you’ll need to choose a veterinarian in your area.
It’s also a good idea to run through various pet insurance options to protect your finances for expensive veterinary bills. In this blog, we’re going to discuss some considerations you need to factor in when choosing the best veterinary hospitals for your pet. Whether you’re a first-time pet parent or just relocating, you’ll need to find the best match for you and your pet.
Which Type of Vet Is Right for My Dog or Cat?
We adore our pets, and just as with family members, we need to choose the best animal care center for our dogs and cats. Numerous factors need to be considered when opting for high-quality veterinary care beyond location, veterinary rates, and personal beliefs.
You’ll need to think about nutrition, philosophy, practice matches, and all the different types of services you may need. If you ask the correct questions regarding the type of pet care the clinics provide, you’ll be able to find a good veterinarian in tune with the lifestyle and practices.
There are several different veterinary practice options that you get to choose from: conventional (Western, allopathic), holistic (complementary or alternative), and integrative (a mix of conventional and holistic)
Because every veterinary practice is unique in that they have individual practice philosophies and different services, some basic similarities may help you determine what type of practice is best for you and your pup.
Differences Between Conventional, Holistic, & Integrative Vets
If you’re opting for western or conventional veterinary medicine practices, then you need to know that they can differ widely.
A conventional veterinary practice will offer the following:
- Basic preventative care
- Diagnostic services like vaccinations, medications, radiology, and lab testing, & basic surgical services
- Surgical services
- Neutering & Spaying
- Some clinics may offer emergency services.
- Other specialty services like orthopedic surgery, internal medicine, dermatology, physical therapy, and nutrition.
On the other hand, holistic veterinary practices also offer a variety of veterinary services, with some including Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM).
Services at local holistic veterinary hospitals may include the following:
- Chinese herbal therapy
- Tui-Na (TCVM massage therapy)
- Food therapy
- Energy medicine like reiki and kinesiology
- Chiropractic services and massage
- Homeopathic remedies and herbal therapies
- Nutritional counseling and dietary supplements
- Possibly CBD therapeutics
Integrative Veterinary Services offer combinations of both holistic and conventional veterinary medicine with mostly conventional veterinary care and adjunct holistic therapies on the side.
Some integrative veterinary hospitals offer a larger assortment of veterinary services with more options and combinations to optimize results with the least side effects from pharmaceuticals.
If you prefer tailoring your vaccinations and spreading them apart, an integrative practice may work for your pup. These veterinary clinics offer high-quality veterinary care and homeopathic remedies after vaccinations to combat side effects like inflammation.
You can explore alternative veterinary treatments for treating common health issues at an integrative veterinary practice and find out about access to surgery and Western veterinary medicine.
Scheduling Your Pet’s First Vet Appointment
You’ll need to ask some basic questions when you visit potential animal care centers so that you can find out which services they provide. Large practices may open for longer hours, have more veterinarians and an array of specialty services.
If you’re looking for a closer relationship with your veterinarian, consider a smaller veterinary clinic with just a few great veterinarians.
Here are a few questions to ask when you schedule your first appointment with your new veterinarian.
- Inquire as to what types of animals they care for. Most animal care centers will provide veterinary care for cats and dogs, with others accepting exotic pets like ferrets, guinea pigs, rats, and birds. If you’re a multi-pet household, this may be a good idea and a huge time saver!
- Inquire as to whether the veterinarians have experience with certain health conditions and breed-specific conditions. This will help you in the long run.
- Find out whether there are emergency hours and who they recommend as the closest emergency vet for emergency veterinary care. This is a good time to delve into pet insurance and reach out to find out more about the best pet insurance plans for your pup.
- It would help if you also inquired about whether veterinary services can be delivered via house call practice with at-home veterinary services.
- You should also inquire about hospice and end-of-life care if your pet is facing a terminal illness or are in their senior years. The veterinary care goal will be to maintain and maximize your pup’s quality of life and ensure comfort during the end years.
Preventative, Long-Term Pet Care
With pet first aid, pet insurance, and high-quality veterinary care key to your pup’s wellbeing and longevity, selecting the right veterinarian is important in keeping your pet healthy and maximizing your ability to developing a good preventative care plan.
While every veterinary practice will be different, all of them will have universal veterinary care methods. After choosing your new veterinarian, you’ll need to keep your veterinary costs down by building your dog’s health to optimize immunity and help prevent illness. That said, the key to successful pet parenting is pet insurance.
Pet care can get expensive, with lots of tests and medications. If your pet has a long term illness, veterinary bills may get costly. Today, most pet insurance companies are even covering holistic veterinary care.
If you’re like us and passionate about your pup’s health, you’ll feed the best diet and include supplements with antioxidants, essential fatty acids, probiotics, and more! Keeping your pet healthy means keeping tabs on his health, sleep and exercise patterns, and working together with your veterinarian.