When the owner of a cat or a dog takes out an insurance contract for his little companion, he can freely choose his veterinarian, as we would do for our attending physician. In addition, he can also decide to change veterinarians as soon as he wishes, either for geographical constraints or simply to turn to a more competent competitor or one with more attractive prices. Nevertheless, the choice of veterinarian is not to be taken lightly. Let’s take a look to see it more clearly.
Why choose a dedicated veterinarian for your animal?
Under article R242-48 of the Rural and Maritime Fishing Code, the owner of a cat or dog has the right to choose the veterinarian of his choice to ensure the care of his little companion and to change it when it suits him. Indeed, no insurer can refuse to reimburse a veterinary bill or to reduce the reimbursement rate if the owner of the insured animal consults another practitioner on an ad hoc or regular basis.
Nevertheless, despite the comfort of this freedom, it is however more interesting to choose a veterinarian and entrust him with the follow-up of his animal. This comfort is above all for the insured dog or cat. Indeed, if you always consult the same practitioner, your animal is more confident and the consultations go better. In addition, the specialist has your little companion’s file, which is the best solution for monitoring his state of health. This file is in fact the means of identifying the characteristics of the animal, its sensitive points, its antecedents and the care it has received, which can contribute to favoring the diagnosis of certain diseases or to better adapt a treatment according to allergies, etc.
How to choose your veterinarian?
The choice of veterinarian is crucial and should not be made for the wrong reasons, simply by price or geographic criteria, for example. Indeed, you are entrusting the health of your little companion to this practitioner, which is why you must feel confident and be sure that quality care will be provided to your dog or cat.
A competent veterinarian
This is the essential criterion. It is important to consult a competent, qualified, but also passionate veterinarian, who will not kick you out or refuse you a consultation because he has decided to go on a break while your animal is in an emergency situation.
Turn to a professional with safe gestures, who takes care of your animal, who knows how to reassure him, talk to him and treat him gently. He must also be able to clearly explain the situation of your little companion to you and help you understand what is happening with clear words.
A suitable establishment
A veterinarian can practice alone, within a clinic or a veterinary hospital. If the veterinarian alone is often constrained by a busy schedule and has less equipment, it is more certain to carry out the follow-up of your cat or your dog than in a clinic or a hospital center, where your animal can be examined by different veterinarians. On the other hand, the latter two have more appointment slots, more efficient and more numerous equipment, but they also cost more.
A nearby practitioner
In an emergency, it is best to have a veterinarian not too far from your home. We therefore advise you to make your choice as far as possible within a limited geographical radius.
Some clinics and hospitals welcome animals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which is not the case for isolated veterinarians. However, in the event of a late or nocturnal emergency, this is a significant asset.
A guard service
If your animal is hospitalized or kept in consultation, it is better to ensure that your practitioner can ensure its follow-up and monitoring, including outside the consultations. Some establishments offer daycare services at night and on weekends.
If your veterinarian is helpless when your animal needs advanced care, you will quickly be faced with a problem. Indeed, it is important that your practitioner is equipped with compliant and sufficient veterinary equipment for complete care.
Veterinarians are free to set the price of their consultations and treatments themselves. You should know that these are high, because these animal practitioners have significantly higher costs than those of our human doctors. These fees are also a way to stand out against the competition. Compare prices, which should be displayed for all to see, to set aside the most expensive practitioners.