Looking for a new vet? Check out these tips for finding a reliable veterinary practice that is the perfect fit for your pet.
Check registration with the RCVS
The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) requires that all qualified vets are registered with them. You can check that a practice is registered on the RCVS website. There’s a voluntary Accredited Practice Standards scheme with the RCVS which gives an extra stamp of approval for practices that want to demonstrate the quality of their services. Although it isn’t necessary for all vet practices to be accredited, those that do have the accreditation are particularly likely to be reliable.
Ask friends and family
A great way to find a reliable vet is to ask friends and family for their recommendations. If they’ve had a good – or bad – experience with a practice they’ll be sure to be honest with you. Make sure to ask those who have the same type of pet as you, because different vets can specialise in different animals. If you have a dog, you could ask fellow dog owners when you bump into them on your daily dog walks.
Check distance and travel routes
When choosing a vet it’s important to factor in accessibility from your home. If you don’t drive, you’ll need the vet to be within reasonable walking distance or on a reliable public transport route. Keep in mind that if your pet is sick they might have a hard time with very long journeys. You ought to balance location with other factors. For example, your nearest vet may not have the specialist expertise your pet requires, and a practice further afield may be worth a longer journey.
Check prices are in line with your budget
Every veterinary practice sets its prices individually, with costs varying depending on the patient’s needs. It can be tricky to compare prices between practices, but to get a rough idea you could ask how much basic consultation fees are. If you think you might struggle to pay for sudden and costly treatments, check to see if a vet offers payment plans. It’s a really good idea to take out pet insurance to ensure you can pay for necessary veterinary treatment should you need it. Petsure is one of the few pet insurers offering up to £15,000 vet fee cover for older and younger pets with or without pre-existing conditions.
Look for specialists for special pets
The majority of veterinary practices in the UK are geared towards common domestic pets like dogs, cats and rodents. If you have a reptile, bird, or other exotic pet you might get a better level of expertise and care from a vet that specialises in a specific species. Similarly, if your pet has a pre-existing medical condition that requires complex treatments or tests, look for a vet with advanced training or experience of that condition.