What you need to know:
- Ask how they handle emergencies when your pet gets sick in the middle of the night or who watches over the pet if they need to stay overnight.
- Does the vet take calls directly at night, if not, how soon do they return calls?
- What is the extent of the services that they offer, do they do surgery?
There are many veterinarians if you were to look around but getting one you trust with your pet involves some work.
If you are adopting a pet, you need to get a vet before bringing the pet home. Cats and dogs from a shelter often have minor illnesses from having an immature immune system and the fact that they could have caught an illness from the many other animals they live with. It can be a cough that you want the vet to catch before it progresses to pneumonia. Or the cat could have an eye infection that you want treated before it gets worse.
A vet will also do a thorough check-up on the pet you have brought home to establish any health issues. It is always best to discover the problems as soon as possible so you can make the decision of returning the pet if need be.
If you already have a pet, and you are scouting for a vet, pay a visit to their offices to see how they treat their clients, check if the facilities are clean, are they warm and welcoming to the animals that come in. Ask how they handle emergencies when your pet gets sick in the middle of the night or who watches over the pet if they need to stay overnight. Does the vet take calls directly at night, if not, how soon do they return calls? What is the extent of the services that they offer, do they do surgery? Such questions will make you be at peace that your cat or dog will receive good treatment when they get unwell.
Make sure the vet is accredited by the Kenya Veterinary Board and has a valid practising licence as many quacks are masquerading as vets. They should also have plenty of experience, especially with your pet’s breed. Have a sit down with the vet, and ask a few questions and see if they take time to answer your concerns, check demeanour and if you agree with their overall philosophy about raising a cat or a dog.
Also, consider their location from where you live, so you know how far you have to travel for regular check-ups as well as emergencies.