How to Choose a Vet for the Homesteader
Choosing the best vet is an important decision if you own any pets or livestock. Veterinarians are there not only when your pet/livestock is ill but pets also need shots and check-ups just as we do. Although many homesteaders strive for self sufficiency there are times when you will have no choice but to use a veterinarian. So choosing a respected veterinarian is crucial to the well being of your animals.
Ask people that you know who have pets and livestock to recommend their veterinarian to you. You can also contact your local coop to find out who they recommend based on the animals you own. Many local veterinarians do not treat chickens, rabbits, goats, and other animals commonly found in many homesteaders homes. It is a good idea to get the names of several professionals. Just because one person likes a specific veterinarian does not mean that you are going to like him. It is also a good idea to get a sampling of opinions. Contacting other homesteaders in your area is a great way to start.
Although many times you will need the vet to come to your home you will want to go visit each clinic in person, too. Someone from the office staff should greet you as soon as you walk in the door. Ask if you can have a tour of the facility. Understand that they may be busy and may ask you to come back another time. The staff should be polite, friendly and helpful.
They should take the time to answer any questions you may have such as their office hours. Observe how the facility appears as a whole. It should be clean, tidy and organized. There should be no foul odor of urine or feces. Also, observe how the staff interacts with other clients in the office as well as their demeanor when they answer the telephones.
When you are there make sure to ask plenty of questions about house calls if this is something you will need. You will also want to find out the emergency protocol that the office has in place. It is important that you know what to do if your animals gets sick or injured. Many animal clinics have a 24 hour answering service that handles and dispatches calls after hours, weekends and holidays.
Following these tips will put you well on your way to ensuring your animals are in the best hands possible! Share your tips with us….
Does your veterinarian make horse calls?