Choose a Veterinarian Who Doesn’t Make You Feel Like Crap!

Female veterinarian and young boy petting kittens

I chose a veterinarian who made me feel like crap.  Actually, I made me feel like crap.

A secret about me is that I’m crazy insecure when I’m stressed.  It has a little to do with (probably a lot) my upbringing.  I want people to like me so it sucks when someone doesn’t share my enthusiasm for the topic of the day.  It’s a little pathetic, but I bet a lot of people can relate.

One day I took our dogs to the veterinarian and wanted to discuss something I’d read while researching an article.  That’s the cool thing about being a pet blogger, we’re always learning new things and a trip to the veterinarian is a great time to get clarification on a topic; or so I thought.

My veterinarian showed no interest in the discussion; I imagine that he was sighing internally at another Google diagnosis.  He may have been busy that day, but this attitude wasn’t new with him and I decided that he wasn’t the vet for us.  I paid the bill and went home.  That was our last visit.  I knew that I needed to choose a veterinarian who would listen to me.

I Want a Vet Who I Can Talk To

Our dogs and cats can’t tell us what’s wrong so I think it’s only natural that we’re going to race to Google to try and figure out what’s going on.  Having lost a pet this past year, I’m a little sensitive when we have a sick pet at home and try to learn as much as possible so that I can…

  • be prepared
  • know what to look for
  • speak intelligently to our vet about their symptoms

Veterinarians Don’t Know Everything

I think that most vets keep up on the advances of veterinarian medicine, but there are hundreds of dog breeds out there and a fellow blogger (Amanda, A Mastiff Blog) taught me that “Vet schools teach our Veterinarians about dogs, not specific breeds and these 161+ breeds are all a little bit different.”  So I try not to be too hard on veterinarians.  I don’t expect them to know it all, but I do expect them to help me understand our dogs better.  Give me a little peace of mind please.

When a Vet Won’t Speak to Pet Owners

If you have a vet that won’t speak with you about your pet’s health – Run.  This is not the vet for you.  In my opinion, the best way to help us raise happy, healthy dogs is to arm us with information.  So when I was speaking with our new vet, I asked her for 10 minutes of her time (yep, made an appointment) to ask her some questions that she was only too happy to answer.  Both my boyfriend and I love to ask questions and she has been nothing but patient and we couldn’t be happier.

If You Don’t Have the Option to Change Vets

We’re lucky.  We live in a town of pet lovers and I can think of 5 veterinarians as I type this and I know that there are several more within 10-15 minutes of our home.  Not everyone has this luxury.  So if you have a vet who won’t speak to you and you don’t have the option of running, then explain what you need.  Explain that you would like to better understand your pet’s health so that you can give them a good life.  And keep explaining this until they hear you.

I’m not a fan of conflict and sometimes being a little pushy can feel uncomfortable.  But, it’s not about confrontation; we’re just asking for clarification.  So find a vet that you feel comfortable talking to; our pets count on us to speak for them – so speak up! Loudly!!!  Choose a veterinarian who will listen.

What do you love about your vet?

Kimberly Gauthier is a dog mom to three herding mix dogs and two tolerant cats. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her boyfriend where she’s the Editor in Chief of Keep the Tail Wagging magazine. Kimberly shares dog care tips from the perspective of a woman who lives in a multi-dog household.

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