Time to read: 3 mins
Choosing the right veterinary practice for you and your dog or cat is an important decision. It may feel a little daunting at first and often a recommendation from a friend or neighbour is a good place to start. Otherwise, you could phone around your local vets or visit them before you make your choice.
All vets working in the UK have to be registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). Check to see if the vet practice is part of the practice standards scheme, which is a voluntary initiative to accredit veterinary practices. The aim is to maintain high levels of care using regular inspections and spot checks. You’ll want to be happy that the practice offers high standards of care, good facilities and has kind and knowledgeable staff.
Personal recommendations and word of mouth can be a really useful way to find out about other pet owner’s opinions and experiences of vets in your area. It’s worth considering all your options as your and your pet’s needs may not be the same as someone else’s.
Location is really important to consider. If your pet needs to see a vet quickly in an emergency, can you get to the vets in a quick and safe way?
Does the practice’s opening hours and appointment times suit your needs? Some practices open later in the evening or have weekend appointments available. Some practices may have more than one branch that you may be required to travel to.
It’s also advisable to find out the practice’s out of hours provision and whether it would suit your needs in an emergency.
Does your pet require specialist or unusual treatment? Some vets may be more specialised or experienced in certain areas or breeds.
Prices can vary from practice to practice depending on factors like location and facilities offered.
Some practices can offer health plans where you can pay a monthly direct debit which may include discounts and preventative health care treatments such as vaccinations and parasite control.
Visit the practice
It is a good idea to visit the practice yourself to see what your first impression is. You might be able to have a conversation with the reception staff and see if they are friendly and knowledgeable about the practice.
If you would like any more information on this or any other pet health related queries, please contact our 24/7 Vet Careline.