What qualifications should I look for in a vet?

Posted Sep 8th, 2020

What qualifications should I look for in a vet?

Your love your pet and you want to make sure that they receive the best care possible. You should try and make sure, then, that your veterinarian has the right qualifications to provide your pet with the care they need. That being said, what qualifications should you even be looking for?

Choosing the Right Vet

Choosing a new veterinarian for your pet can be a stressful experience. There are so many things to consider. Will you like them? Are their hours in line with your availability. But on top of these concerns, there are also certifications a veterinarian can hold quick qualifies them for certain kinds of care, But what do these certifications mean? Here are some of the most common.

Mandatory U.S. Veterinary Qualifications

When searching for a vet, make sure that you check to ensure that they are licensed in both the U.S. and in your state. You can also take the time to find out if other people working at the veterinary center are licensed, such as registered veterinary technicians. Visit your prospective vet's office and look around, if you don't see their certifications hanging in their reception area, you can ask to see their licenses, or contact your state's board of veterinary medicine for more info.

Here are the two certifications you are looking for:

DVM (VMD) - Doctor of Veterinary Medicine - The first thing that you need to check is that your vet is qualified to practice in the U.S. When a person graduates from an American veterinary school they receive a DVM—Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (sometimes called a VMD degree). All vets practicing in the U.S. must have a DVM degree. A DVM degree means that the person you are considering is, in fact, a qualified veterinarian and is fully qualified to perform the duties of the profession.

State Veterinary Licensing - In order to practice veterinary medicine, some states also require a veterinarian to pass a state-specific examination. These exams typically test the vet's knowledge of the state's laws and regulations governing veterinary medicine. In order to maintain a state veterinary license, vets must obtain continuing education and may need to renew their license on a regular basis (often every 3 years).

Additional Veterinary Qualifications

If your pet has healthcare requirements which go above and beyond standard veterinary carem you may also want to look got a vet with qualifications that go beyond the standard DVM degree. Two such certifications are:

Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (DABVP) - Veterinarians who are ABVP Certified (ABVP Diplomates) begin with a DVM degree then go on to accrue knowledge and expertise beyond what is required to practice standard veterinary medicine. ABVP Diplomates undergo a challenging 3-year process of additional studies and examination to become board certified specialists recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). These vets have put in the hard work and training to specialize in the treatment of one or more categories of animals.

Fear Free Certification - If you have a pet that is high-strung or anxious you may want to take the extra time to locate a Fear-Free Certified vet in your area. Fear-Free certification can apply to an individual vet, another veterinary professional within the hospital, or even the hospital itself. Fear Free training teaches ways in which veterinary professionals can make pets more at ease in their office and during their examinations and treatment. 

Vets That May Require A Referral

Veterinary Specialists - A board-certified veterinary specialist is a veterinarian who has completed additional training in a specific area of veterinary medicine and has passed an examination that evaluates their knowledge and skills in that specialty area. If your pet is unwell, your regular vet may refer you to a veterinary specialist. There are 41 distinct specialties within veterinary medicine ranging from behavior to ophthalmology and surgery to dentistry. You may be referred to a veterinary specialist if diagnosing or treating your pet's health issue requires specialized equipment and/or expertise that your primary care veterinarian does not have. Veterinary specialists take pride in working with your primary care veterinarian to provide your pet with the best care possible.

Paddock Park Animal Care Center's veterinary team is committed to offering you and your pet the highest quality of veterinary service. Contact us today to learn more about the qualifications of our vets and our range of services.

New Patients Welcome

Paddock Park Animal Care Center always accepts new patients! Our team of experienced vets are passionate about pet health in Ocala and beyond. We welcome you and your beloved pet to our veterinary family.

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(352) 237-4176