If you are reading this blog, chances are that you love animals.
When you have pets, it is important to choose animal professionals who value your companion’s wellbeing as much as you do. It is easy to assume that if a someone has a business, you can trust them. But unfortunately, not all animal professionals are equal. As our pets’ advocates, it is our job to be educated and aware, so that we can play an active role in choosing the quality and philosophy of care our companions receive. Although it may take you some additional time, the long-term rewards will be worth it.
Here are some factors to keep in mind:
- Education and Certification. Know what degree a professional has, and just as important, whether they keep current on their continuing education. Do all the technical staff at your veterinary office have current licenses? Does your dog trainer attend continuing education?
- Facility. Are you allowed to see the entire facility? Is the facility clean? Does it smell? Is it loud? Do the animals look healthy, and are sick or injured animals isolated properly?
- Staff. Is there appropriate staffing? Are the staff immediately responsive, welcoming, knowledgeable and passionate about explaining their services?
- Collaboration and Referrals. The animal field is a collaborative one, and good animal professionals know that they can’t do it all alone. Examples include a general practice veterinarian referring to an internist or a trainer referring to a veterinary behaviorist.
- Transparency and Responsibility. Animal professionals should be honest about what they do and how they do it. What tools will they use and why? What are the benefits and the risks? What plans are in place if things go wrong? If they are placing an animal, what is its background and what kind of care has it received? Does this professional have the relevant legal resources and insurance to run a responsible business?