Responsible Chicago area pet owners agree that having a great veterinarian is a necessity. A dependable and knowledgeable vet ensures that your pet enjoys the best of health and peace of mind for you. Some tips will help you find a vet, one that is fully committed to providing your pet with the best of care.

Find a vet before you need one:

Anyone contemplating getting a pet knows that having a vet on-hand is part of being a “pet parent.” Don’t wait to find one when the need is dire; find a vet when you have the luxury of time. If you have a dog or cat, and you are moving elsewhere in Chicago or to a new town, start looking before your pet gets sick or is somehow injured.

Ask pet owners for a reference:

If you know people who have pets, ask them for details of their vet. There is nothing better than an introduction, especially from someone that loves his or her pet.

If you adopt a pet from a shelter, the caregivers may have a comprehensive list of vets, including those in your area. If you are considering a purebred animal, breeders have strong relationships with vets as well.

Arrange to visit the clinic:

When you think you have identified a vet that suits your needs, arrange to visit the clinic. Make a note of the questions you have. If the clinic agrees, take your pet with you. You will get an immediate sense of how the vet and your pet get along.

What are the office hours? Do the hours meet your busy schedule?
Is a vet available in the event of an emergency?
Does the clinic have access to veterinary specialists?
What is the average waiting time for an appointment?

During your visit, take a tour through the facilities. It should be clean, and there should not be any offensive odors. Do the “patients” appear comfortable? Are dogs, and cats kept well apart? Finding a great vet does not happen by accident. You need to put as much thought into getting the right vet as you did to get the right pet.

If you live in Chicago and you are looking for knowledgeable and compassionate vets, visit Village West Veterinary at and take a tour of the facilities. Like us on our facebook page.