Veterinarian Column: [Choosing a Veterinary Hospital] Which veterinary hospital is suitable for my child?

by Alice's Dog & Catスタッフ

There are various types of animal hospitals. If you are choosing a veterinary hospital for the first time and are wondering which veterinary hospital is right for you and your pet, please read this.

*Type of animal hospital

◎An animal hospital that provides general medical care (primary medical care)

・Small animal hospital (1-2 veterinarians)

・Medium-sized animal hospital (3 veterinarians or more)

Specialty hospital

・Ophthalmology, dentistry, dermatology, cardiovascular, endocrinology, orthopedics, exotic animal hospitals, etc.

・Night specialized animal hospital

Secondary hospital

・University-affiliated animal hospital

・Japan Advanced Animal Medical Center, etc.


■ What criteria do you use to choose your favorite veterinary hospital?

How do you choose your family hospital?

Proximity to home and ease of commuting

The most important thing is to be able to take your child to the hospital immediately in the event of illness or injury.

When you are sick, you may have to go to the hospital every day.

If your primary care provider is a hospital close to your home, you won't have to worry about traveling.

Compatibility with the veterinarian

There are many types of veterinarians out there, including those who give a lot of explanations, those who give brief but easy-to-understand explanations, those who give you lots of options, and those who make decisions on what to do.

It is also important to choose a hospital that has a veterinarian that is easy to ask questions to and that suits the owner. Also, there are some animals that are compatible with veterinarians, such as my child being afraid of non-female veterinarians.

③Closed days and clinic hours

I think most animals come to the veterinary hospital on their owners' days off. It is easier to go to a veterinary hospital where the closed days and the owner's days off do not coincide. Some veterinary hospitals are open 24 hours a day, all year round.

■ Which is better for my child, a small hospital or a medium-sized hospital?

animal Hospital

This depends on the owner's preference, but

Advantages of small hospitals

at home. One doctor will closely monitor your progress.

Advantages of medium-sized hospitals

You can hear not only the thoughts of one veterinarian but also the thoughts of various veterinarians. There are veterinarians with various specialties.

■ Which is better: a hospital that offers appointment treatment or a hospital that doesn't?

Animal hospital, appointment consultation

If your child feels uncomfortable waiting in the waiting room, we recommend making an appointment.

・Reservation treatment

It can be a burden for timid children, unvaccinated children, and unwell children to wait for long periods in the waiting room. By making an appointment, your waiting time will be shorter and you will avoid having to share the waiting room with other animals.

・Medical treatment in order of reception

There is no need to make an appointment; you can be seen any time during business hours. Waiting time varies depending on the crowd on that day.

■ Does the consultation fee vary depending on the hospital?

Fees for initial consultations, vaccines, medicines, and surgeries vary depending on the animal hospital.

I think the pricing will vary depending on the region.

Cheap doesn't mean it's good, and just because it's expensive doesn't mean it's top-notch. When choosing a veterinary hospital, please consider the fees as a reference.

■ Is it okay to have several family veterinary hospitals?

In order to fully understand the progress of your condition, it is best to have a thorough check-up at your primary care physician. However, depending on the situation, I think it might be a good idea to use different hospitals.

For example, if the veterinary hospital you visit most frequently is closed on certain days, it would be a good idea to find a veterinary hospital that is open on those days.

In addition, you can go to your local family doctor for general medical examinations, and visit a cardiovascular specialist hospital separately from your family doctor for heart disease.

If you are visiting several veterinary hospitals, be sure to bring the medicines your pet is taking and the test results each time so that they can keep track of the progress.

■ What are the advantages of specialized hospitals and secondary hospitals?

Specialist hospitals and secondary hospitals have veterinarians with specialist qualifications. You can diagnose diseases that could not be detected in primary care or undergo surgeries that require advanced techniques. I think it would be a good idea to go to secondary treatment for a second opinion.

I think the most important thing when choosing a veterinary hospital is whether the owner can find a veterinarian they can trust. When looking for a veterinary hospital, instead of visiting the hospital for the first time when your pet is sick, visit the hospital when the animal is healthy, such as vaccinations and heartworm prevention, and look at the atmosphere of the hospital and the reliability of the veterinarians before finding a veterinarian.

Related article: Questions about vaccines Column/Vaccine Questions - Vaccinations are required every year