word of mouth from fellow pet owners would be a good start. I'm very happy with the vet I have now, she takes time to explain things to my satisfaction and answer all of my questions, no matter how silly. She's been taking a lot of maternity leave the last few years, starting a family. I really hope she doesn't give up the practice, I would hate to have to look for a new vet. 8)
see, the problem with word of mouth is that the only people i know with pets either take them somewhere far away or go to the same place i do. i guess i'll just start asking random people on the street.
Some vets offices have webpages too.... that can be really helpful for getting a feel for the kind of place it is. I live in Philly, and here there are even some practices here that are strictly for cats, no other animals. Those are REALLY nice.... no loud barking dogs to scare the kitties in the waiting room. Websites also usually mention which school the vets attended... and I know its a little bit snobby, but I sometimes feel better knowing all the vets in Maya's practice graduated from the Univ. of Penn. Not that there aren't great vets from lesser-known schools, its just sort of one more assurance of quality, I guess. I've also found that most places don't mind if you call and ask them all sorts of questions about how long they've been in practice, what they specialize in, the types of services they offer, etc... before actually scheduling an appt!
My recent vet has a web site with all the info but that didn't help. They also have nice receptionist who answer all my questions. Then, I went there and the vet was trying to make me buy their cat food which is by-product - telling me how good food it is and to give it to my cats. I couldn't believe it! And this is a cat clinic (no other animals allowed)
I'm kind of dissapointed right now and I think it takes time till you find a good vet. I will go there again this Saturday and see how it goes. I'm looking around and thinking to find another vet (3rd one! and I have my kittens since December 2003).
I know what you mean by the web - you feel kind of safer knowing that they have a web site. I felt this way too. Now I think that it really doesn't matter. You can have the most beautiful web site with all the info + the vet can have good education and many years experience but still can be a bad vet. Or, there can be a very good vet without a web site. This is my opinion but I might be wrong... maybe I"m little bit negative now, because of my bad experience.
well, there is a vet that i am thinking about checking out who doesn't have a website, but i will call and talk to the people.
the vet i have right now that i don't like is a cat only vet. thats why i went in the first place, cause i figurred they would know what they're doing. but i really really don't like one of the vets there.
I agree that even vets with all the "right" credentials can end up being less than ideal in person. I've definitely met with a few of those along the way! (Maya was very sick when I first got her, we've been through at least 4-5 vets at this point) I do think it is one of those situations though where all you can do is gather as much information as possible beforehand, whether it be from word of mouth, websites, or talking to receptionists and asking the right questions.... then just relying on trial and error.
Oh and I almost forgot about my "food test"..... the most recent vet we went to see asked what I was feeding Maya... I said Wellness, and he said "oh good, one of my favorites!" .... so I knew if he'd done as much research on it as I had, he had to know what he was talking about! He was part of a practice I'd found online, and I loved his little biography on why he'd become a vet and how much he loved his own pets.