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Choosing the right veterinarian can make any pet owner feel more secure. An important issues is how far are you willing to travel for quality veterinarian services? Having a veterinarian nearby makes sense in the case of emergencies. Time may be a critical factor, so easy driving distance has it's advantages. Routine visits are also more convenient.

If you have a dog or cat, finding a capable veterinarian in town may be fairly easy. If you have a more exotic pet, however, you may need to do some more research. Not all veterinarians offer services for exotic animals such as birds, reptiles, snakes and small rodents.

A good veterinarian should demonstrate some compassion for distraught pet owners as well as their sick pets. A pet owner should feel as if he or she can speak freely about the pet's prognosis.

A good veterinarian also should understand a pet owner's financial situation, which may mean recommending a less-expensive course of treatment or using generic medications when appropriate.

Ask the veterinarian about their emergency and after-hours treatment policy. Some vets will refer emergency cases to a better-equipped animal hospital across town or even in another city. They may not have the proper facilities to treat certain serious medical conditions. Animal hospitals may offer emergency services, but advanced treatments may be very expensive.

Veterinarians are not obligated to extend credit for their services, although many have adopted private forms of extended payments. In recent years, some private companies have started offering a form of pet health insurance.

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