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What qualifications should I look for in a vet?

What qualifications should I look for in a vet?

You love your pet and want to make sure that the veterinarian you choose for them has the right qualifications and certifications to provide your pet with the care they need throughout their life. But what qualifications should you be looking for?

Choosing the Right Vet

When selecting a new vet for your pet, it can be a stressful experience. There are so many factors worth considering/ 

Will you like their vet? Does your availability align with their hours? How conveniently located are they? But beyond these say-to-day concerns, there is also a larger question of whether or not they are qualified to provide the veterinary care your pet needs. 

But what do the qualifications and certifications a vet may have mean? Here are a few of the most common.

Mandatory U.S. Veterinary Qualifications

When you are looking for a vet, check to make sure that the veterinarian you are considering is licensed in the U.S. and in your state. You may also what to take the time to find out if other people working in the hospital are licensed, such as registered veterinary technicians. Pop into the vet's office and take a look around, if you don't see the certifications hanging in the reception area, simply ask to see their licenses or contact your state board of veterinary medicine for more information.

Here are the two certifications you are looking for:

DVM (VMD) - Doctor of Veterinary Medicine - The first thing you should always check for in a prospective vet is whether or not they are qualified to practice in the United States. This certification, given to  every graduate of an American veterinary school, qualifies that person to perform the duties of a veterinarian.

State Veterinary Licensing - In some states,  a veterinarian is required to pass a specific examination tailored for that state and its requirements of practicing veterinarians. These exams generally test a vet's knowledge of state-wide laws as they pertain to veterinarians. In order to maintain their state veterinary license, vets will need to obtain continuing education and renew their licenses on a regular basis (generally every 3 years or so).

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.

At Santa Cruz Veterinary Hospital, our veterinary professionals are committed to offering you and your pet the best possible care in veterinary medicine. Contact us today to learn more about the qualifications of our vets and our range of services.

New Patients Welcome

Santa Cruz Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Capitola companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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