The Top 5 Tips for Choosing a Veterinarian

Our vet-in-residence takes you through the best practices for finding a trusted animal doctor

By The Get Leashed Health Team


As we endeavor to bring you the best of life with pets, from time to time we get asked our opinions on care, training and health issues. One of the most common things requested is a recommendation for a veterinarian. While we have one of the most in-the-know (plus good looking) in-house veterinarians on our team, we can’t be completely biased. Plus, location is important – if your neighborhood vet is good, that’s a huge bonus and not everyone is lucky enough to live close to Dr. Sheldon’s animal hospital.

Choosing a veterinarian isn’t something to take lightly. Your vet and their staff are people you should know well, feel comfortable with, and trust.

We asked Dr. Sheldon to outline the top 5 things to do when searching for a new veterinarian. His practice, Willowdale Animal Hospital, is open 24 hours and serves Toronto and the GTA. They were gracious enough to let us sit in on a typical day while we filmed Sheldon’s tips and the good doctor in action. They’re outlined in brief below for quick reference but to get a better feel for the steps you should take, check out the video!

Tip #1: Go to the dog park

Word of mouth is the best way to find a vet that’s local and trusted by people you know

Tip #2: Visit the clinic’s website

Get to know the practice’s philosophy for patient care

Tip #3: Check for AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) accreditation

Practices recognized by the AAHA have access to leading resources, studies and important trends in caring for animals

Tip #4: Make an appointment to tour the hospital

Meet the staff and get a feel for the hospital

Tip #5: Get a checkup

Build a rapport with the veterinarian and up your comfort level along with your pet’s familiarity with the hospital environment and the personnel that will be looking after them in the future