If you have moved to a new area then you’ll want to find a local vet, in the same way that you’d find a GP for yourself.
The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is a good place to start. It hosts a search engine on its website that helps you ‘find a vet’. Simply enter your full postcode or postal town, and the database will return the first 100 entries closest to you, arranged in order of distance.
The RCVS website ‘find a vet’ search engine ‘advanced search’ option also allows you to search for a vet that deals with a specific type of animal and indicates whether a practice has any specialist interests such as food hygiene or complementary health.
Look for accreditation
On the RCVS website, you can also narrow the search down and look for RCVS-accredited practices and training qualifications of vets. On 1 January 2005, it launched the RCVS Practice Standards Scheme, which accredits veterinary practices according to the services and/or specialities that they offer. Every accredited practice has volunteered to undergo rigorous inspection by a qualified inspector every few years, with potential on-the-spot checks in-between. It all helps to put your mind at rest.
Often though, you can’t beat word-of-mouth recommendations. Find out what other animal owners in your area feel about their vet. If they have a cat or a dog and are happy with their practice, then it could be ideal for you too. Try and get feedback from as many people as you can so that you can compare comments.
Consider facilities and costs
If your cat or dog needs specific treatment or maintenance – for an ongoing illness, for example – then you need to check that a veterinary practice can deal with it before you join.
Costs can vary between vets, depending on the location, facilities offered and overheads. Also, ask yourself whether the location of the practice is convenient. Is it near any public transport links? Does it have a car park?
Finally, it is worth knowing that if you and your pet are away from home but within the territorial limits of your Churchill pet insurance policy, and your pet needs urgent veterinary care, then we can help you find the nearest approved vet to you. Simply ring our pet helpline on 0345 604 0671.