Choosing Your Charleston Animal Clinic

How to Connect With Your Vet

A Labrador retriever siting at a table looking on his laptop. Hampton Park Vet - Charleston SC If you’re among the 62% of South Carolina households that own pets, your relationship with your vet is one of the most important ones you’ll have outside of your family. These medical professionals hold a highly trusted position in every animal-loving family.

Along with becoming a first-time pet parent, moving to a new town is the most common reason to start your search for an animal clinic.

If you’re looking for a new vet due to being unhappy with your current vet, you’ll know how important it is to research your options carefully.

Read on for tips on how to choose the ideal Charleston animal clinic for your needs.

Start With a Checklist

Your first task when searching for a vet is to find one that’s close to your current home. You must be able to get there quickly in an emergency.

Next, draw up a checklist of your pet’s healthcare needs and expectations. This will help you when researching your options.

Some things to consider include:

  • Is the veterinary clinic taking new clients?
  • Do their business hours work for you?
  • How do they manage emergencies and walk-ins?
  • The prices for routine care, examinations, and vaccinations
  • Are there any extra exam room fees?
  • Your pet’s specific health conditions
  • Do they do house calls?

Keep in mind whether you’re looking for a cat-friendly vet, a dog-friendly vet, or a generalist. If you have horses or exotic pets, you’ll need to spread your net even further.

These pointers will help you narrow down your search and find the best option for you.

Ask Around

The easiest way to get first-hand information and genuine opinions about vets is from friends and neighbors. These fellow pet owners will be able to answer most of the questions on your checklist.

They can also put your mind at ease when it comes to entrusting your precious pet to a new veterinarian.

If you belong to a local dog club, your fellow members can fill you in on their veterinary preferences. Your local ASPCA or Humane Society may also have some recommendations.

When moving to a new town, your previous vet may know of someone in the area who can help you. A referral from a vet you already know and trust is a great start to your search, but you should still investigate all your options.

Consider Charleston Animal Clinic Reviews

It’s easier to narrow your search when you have a list of local clinics to choose from. Look up online reviews about these institutions and the vets who work there.

Glowing reviews will surely put your mind at ease, but don’t let a few negative comments sway your opinion. Rather, consider how the clinic manages these bad reviews and whether they resolve the issues.

Browsing a clinic’s website will help you discover which services they offer and whether they can cater to your breed of pet. Look for websites with updated information and read their About page to get an idea of their experience and involvement with animals.

Investigate Qualifications and Experience

Most veterinary clinics will publish their vets’ credentials on their website. You can verify these credentials with the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation.

Some veterinarians publish papers and studies online. Search online to see if any of the vets on your list have done the same.

Publications are no measure of a veterinarian’s prowess, but they do add credibility to their cause. You can expect to pay more for these highly-accredited specialists’ services.

Consider Pricing

Affordability is a major concern in modern times and some vets offer good service at affordable prices. Always ask about the cost of routine pet care during your search for a veterinarian.

Many clinics will give you estimates of the price ranges for routine treatments, diagnostics, and surgeries. Not only will this allow you to budget for your pet’s preventive care, but it can also help you plan for emergencies.

If you’re concerned about the high costs of veterinary emergencies, consider taking out pet insurance.

Your local Human Society, animal shelter, or ASPCA might offer low-cost veterinary care to help pet parents pay for veterinary care when necessary.

You should also keep your eyes peeled for free or affordable spay and neuter clinics in your area. Local authorities sometimes arrange these events to help prevent unwanted puppies and kittens from placing a strain on rescue organizations.

While these affordable services can help you save money, you don’t get the benefit of working with a vet you know and trust. It’s always better to investigate veterinary pricing beforehand, so you can budget accordingly.

Choose a Vet You Feel Comfortable With

A doctor’s bedside manner can make or break their patient relationships, and it’s even more important for veterinarians to master these skills.

Animals can behave unpredictably in a strange environment and may quickly form negative associations surrounding visits to a veterinary clinic. Your vet must put them at ease so they can treat them easily and without exercising any undue force.

At times, injured or frightened pets can lash out at those around them, so you must find a vet who can manage these situations in a manner that’s safe for everyone involved.

Most interactions with your vet will center on routine preventive care such as vaccinations or dental care.

However, there may be instances when you arrive at the vet under extreme duress because of a sick or injured pet. At times like these, you need a vet who can manage both human and animal emotions.

If you need to euthanize a beloved pet, you want to be sure you’re dealing with a vet who is respectful and compassionate during this emotional time.

Look No Further

The devil is in the details when it comes to choosing the right vet for your precious family member. You must consider every one of the above aspects before you decide; your pet’s life could depend on it.

Hampton Park Veterinary Clinic is the leading Charleston animal clinic for preventive care, wellness checks, and animal surgeries.

Our team of great vets and their assistants is standing by to attend to all your pets’ needs. Call us first for dedicated, experienced, and qualified service.