Your horse is more than just your pet. It’s your best friend. Because of this, you want to provide it with the best care possible.
The issue lies in finding an equine vet that can meet your expectations. So, that begs the question: How do you go about choosing a veterinarian for your horse?
Here are seven tips to help you find the best horse care in your area. Let’s get started.
1. Search Google
Our first piece of advice is to search Google. This way, you can get a full picture of the equine veterinarian options in your area.
Go to Google and type in something like “horse vet near me” or “equine vet in [your town].” This will return a list of various options near you. Next to them will be star ratings, not to mention links to customer reviews.
Use these reviews and ratings to determine the best options. Narrow your list to 3 to 5 candidates, and then write down their names. You can compare them further using the tips below.
2. Gauge Their Experience
Once you’ve created a shortlist of potential candidates, you should gauge their experience. Not only should you gauge their years of experience, but the specifics of their experience as well.
For instance, some equine vets might only offer standard veterinarian services. Therefore, they might not have any experience in, for example, horse acupuncture. You need to know this before making your final choice, as it could affect the services (and the quality of those services) you will receive down the road.
It is wise to choose a vet who provides everything you need. This way, your horse doesn’t have to develop relationships with multiple vets. They can grow accustomed to your chosen vet and receive all of the care they need from them and them alone.
To assess a vet’s experience and the specifics of their experience, check their website. Their ‘About’ page should have information about how long they’ve been practicing. Their ‘Services’ page should have information on the types of services they provide.
3. Call and Speak to the Vet
Our next tip is to call and speak to the vet over the phone. This can help you get a feel for the vet’s demeanor and thus help you to make a more informed choice.
It also gives you the opportunity to ask the vet questions. The way that they go about answering these questions could sway you in one direction or the other.
Pay attention to a vet who is dismissive and abrupt when answering your questions. This shows they are probably not the best choice. On the other hand, a vet who is empathetic and thorough when answering your questions is likely a safer bet.
4. Look for Complaints
Another thing you should do is look for complaints about the vet. It may be that past clients specifically posted complaints about the vet in question. If so, this could influence your decision to choose or reject a specific vet.
A good place to look for these is the Better Business Bureau website. This is typically reserved more for complaints than it is for standard reviews. It will likely show you the worst of your prospective selections.
Of course, you can also look on sites like Facebook, Yelp, Google, and PetMD. These sites should have a mix of both positive and negative reviews.
Note that when assessing complaints, you need to keep them in context. A single complaint shouldn’t cause you to write a specific vet off entirely. The reason for assessing complaints is to rule out vets who are absolute deal-breakers.
5. Inquire About Prices
Not all equine vets are going to charge the same prices. In fact, there can be a great deal of variation from vet to vet. This is why you need to call several vets and ask about their costs before making your final decision.
Explain exactly the type of care your horse needs. Then, ask for a rundown of the potential costs associated with that care. Make sure the costs provided are specific and not just general. In fact, it might even be a good idea to ask for an itemized list of estimates.
Once you have estimates in your hands, compare them against one another while also taking other characteristics into account. Price alone shouldn’t be your only selection criteria. It needs to be weighed along with other qualities.
6. Keep It in Close Proximity
Choosing the right care for your horse is vital. However, that doesn’t mean you need to travel unspeakable distances to ensure that your horse is healthy. You can almost certainly find a quality equine vet within an hour of you.
This is important, as you don’t want to have to transport your horse long distances on a regular basis. This would not only be inconvenient for you but potentially taxing for your horse as well.
Note that some equine vets will even make house calls. Depending on the demeanor of your horse, this could be the best option for you.
7. Consider Specialties
If you are simply seeking out standard horse care, you don’t need to look for a specialist. However, if your horse has specific and intensive health problems (like skin issues, for example), you’ll need to seek out a specialist.
A standard equine vet likely won’t have the training necessary to treat specialty issues. In all likelihood, they’ll end up referring you to a specialist. So, you might as well save time and money by seeking out a specialist to begin with.
You can find a specialist by Googling something to the extent of “equine [specialty] vet” or “horse vet for [specialty] issues.”
Searching for an Equine Vet in Steamboat Springs, Colorado?
Still in the process of choosing a vet for your horse? Are you searching for an equine vet in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, specifically? If so, look no further than High Country Veterinary Services.
We provide a wide variety of equine veterinary services, from emergency services to diagnostic imaging to acupuncture and more. Contact us today to discuss the care of your horse!