3 Ways to Break Up with Your Vet
You’re a responsible pet owner: you buy healthy dog food, you clean up after him on walks, you ensured his leash fits properly, and pet-proofed your house to keep him out of harm’s way. You even have a friendly and knowledgeable veterinarian you take him to regularly. However, what if the unexpected happens and your beloved pet’s health checkup becomes a nightmare experience for either yourself or your pet?
If you’re thinking your veterinarian might no longer be the best fit, regardless of the reason, here are a few tips for amicably ending things to hopefully prevent any awkward situations.
- Make a Decision
If you suspect your vet is guilty of illegal, unethical or dangerous actions such as fraud or malpractice, your decision to change veterinarians might not be that difficult. In less shady situations, such as when you actually like your vet but can no longer afford him/her, you might be on the fence about what to do. Here are two handy lists to help you determine whether it really is time to make the switch.
- Find Another Vet
For the sake of your pet’s health, never “break up” with your previous veterinarian unless you have an intention of finding another vet to care for your pet. Ideally, you should find a suitable match before ending your relationship with your previous vet. Yelp is a great online tool that lets you read real reviews of veterinarians all over the country. Additionally, you can join local Facebook groups and ask the community. Once you find a clinic you like, set up an appointment to bring your pet in for a consultation. According to Dr. Marty Becker, DVM, it’s okay if you disagree on small things like what brand of food you should feed your dog. Most importantly, you should feel respected, comfortable, and able to work with your new veterinarian as a team to ensure your pet’s optimal health.
- Say Goodbye and Move On
Once you’ve completed the first two steps, you’ll be ready to make the switch. There are a couple different options for how to handle this. If you’re on good terms with your previous veterinarian, you can explain the situation to them and maybe even write a nice Thank You card or letter for all the years of service and care they’ve given you. If you’re on bad terms? Sometimes, it’s better to say nothing at all about the change of venue. Visit the front desk and ask for hard copies of all your pet’s records. Laws vary by state, but you absolutely have rights to this information. Your new care provider needs your animal’s medical history before his first visit in order to best tailor current and future healthcare services. Regardless of why you’re leaving, you don’t owe your previous vet an explanation. However, it’s best to try to leave on good terms because you never know when you might unexpectedly see that vet again in the future.
Sometimes you’ve been taking your pet to the same veterinarian for years and you’ve built a great rapport with that person – yet you still feel like your pet might benefit from seeing someone else. As Pet MD says, the decision to switch veterinarians is “not-so-easy” and “there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about it.” If you decide that switching vets is absolutely necessary, these tips will hopefully make it a little less awkward for everyone involved.