There’s no denying that our furry friends have wormed their ways into our lives. In 2012, 36.5 percent of American households – or more than 43 million – opened their homes to one or more dogs, and 30.4 percent – that’s more than 36 million – had one or more cats.
With animal ownership, however, comes the obligation to find good veterinary care for your adopted family members. So far in 2013 Better Business Bureau® has received 102,779 inquiries nationwide for veterinarians.
Taking care of your furry friends does not come cheap. The average annual veterinary bill for dog owners is $227 per dog and $90 for cat-lovers. But you want the best for Fido or Muffin, right? Ask friends, family and colleagues about which vet they use and why. Before making an appointment, however, check the clinic out at bbb.org to see if there is a pattern of complaints and if so, if they were resolved.
BBB of Southern Arizona offers these tips for finding a trustworthy veterinarian in your town:
- Determine what kind of veterinarian care your animal needs or will require. Ask if the clinic belongs to the American Animal Hospital Association or is BBB Accredited. Both require high standards.
- Is the clinic clean, comfortable (for both pets and owners) and well-organized?
- How many veterinarians are in the practice? Can you specify which one you would like to have see your pet?
- How much are fees? Does the clinic offer financing or pet insurance plans?
- Are pets staying overnight monitored?
- How does the vet feel about alternative treatments for your pet?
- Are X-rays, ultrasound, blood work, EKG, endoscopy and other diagnostic tests done in-house or referred to a specialist? Will you be informed before such tests are administered?
- Are clinic hours convenient? Is the location and parking convenient? What is the policy regarding after-hours emergencies?