On the day of your dog’s veterinarian appointment, get there about 10 or 15 minutes early to make sure that you have enough time to fill out all the paperwork that needs to be filled out before the examination. When you are done filling out the paperwork, look around the reception area. Record your observations and compare them to the results of your other appointments.
Look around the office. Is it a comfortable place to wait? Is it clean? Does it have a pleasant smell? Is the receptionist friendly and polite? See if you can get a good look at the overall environment of the office. Are things running smoothly or are they chaotic? Although there are certain days when the office is hectic and the staff seem to be running back and forth, they should still maintain an organized and friendly working atmosphere.
Pay attention to the period of time it takes for you to see the vet. You should not have to wait an hour, or even 45 minutes, especially if you have an appointment. A normal wait time should be between 5 and 20 minutes. If you have been waiting for more than 20 minutes, you have the right to ask the receptionist how much longer it will take for you to be seen and if this is always the average waiting time for an appointment. Ask in a polite manner and you should get a polite response. Continue with your observation, noting down specific details in the office that can influence your decision.
When it’s time for you to see the vet, pay attention to his demeanor and how he reacts and responds to your questions. Consider the following:
1. See if the vet takes the time to introduce herself to you and your dog, or if she seems to be in a hurry to finish the appointment.
2. Does she seem to be eager to answer all of your questions, or does she look irritated or displeased by them?
3. Does she give information about her practice?
4. Is she enthusiastic about her work, or does she look bored or uninterested?
5. Observe how she reacts toward your dog. Is she gentle and patient? Does she seem to be a real dog-lover and someone who could connect with your dog?
6. Observe how your dog reacts towards the vet. Does your dog seem comfortable around her?