The Qualifications To Look For In A Vet

The Qualifications To Look For In A Vet

We know you love your pet and that's why you want to choose a vet thats right for you and your furry companion. Today our Edgewater vets explain the qualifications you should look for when deciding on a vet to take care of your cat or dog's veterinary needs.

Selecting the Right Vet

Finding a vet can be a complicated and stressful task because there is so many factors to consider, such as will you get along with the person? Are their hours in line with your schedule? But beyond all the basic practicalities of selecting a vet, there is several certifications a veterinarian can have under their belt. Here we discuss a few of most common most common certifications and what they mean.

Mandatory U.S. Veterinary Qualifications

When searching for a vet, look to see if the one your are considering is licensed to work in the U.S. and in your state. We also recommend taking the time to learn if the other staff working in the hospital are licensed, such as registered veterinary technicians. Go into the vet's office and take look around, if you can't see the certifications hanging in the reception area, ask to see their licenses or call your state board of veterinary medicine to get more information.

Here are the two certifications you are looking for:

DVM (VMD) - Doctor of Veterinary Medicine - The first certification you need to check is if they are qualified to practice in the U.S. When a person graduates from an American veterinary school they receive a DVM—Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (sometimes called a VMD degree). All practicing veterinarians in the U.S. need to have a DVM degree. A DVM degree means that the person you are considering is fully qualified to perform the duties of the veterinary profession.

State Veterinary Licensing - In order to practice veterinary medicine, some states also require a veterinarian to pass a state-specific examination. These exams usually test the vet's knowledge of the state's laws and regulations governing veterinary medicine. In order to keep a state veterinary license, vets have to obtain continuing education and might need to renew their license on a regular basis (typically every 3 years).

Additional Veterinary Qualifications

If your pet has specific health care requirements that goes above and beyond standard veterinary care, you might want to find a vet with qualifications that go past the standard DVM degree. Two of these certifications are:

Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (DABVP) - Veterinarians who are ABVP Certified (ABVP Diplomates) begin with a DVM degree then go on to obtain knowledge and expertise beyond what is required to practice standard veterinary medicine. ABVP Diplomates undergo a challenging 3-year process of additional studies and examinations to become board certified specialists recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). These vets put in lots of hard work and training to specialize in the treatment of one or more categories of animals.

Fear Free Certification - If your pet is high-strung or anxious you might want to locate a Fear-Free Certified vet in your area. Fear-Free certification can apply to an individual vet, another veterinary professional within the hospital, or even the hospital itself. Fear Free training teaches ways in which veterinary professionals can make pets more at ease in their office and during their examinations and treatment. 

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 tests their knowledge and skills in that specialty area. If your pet is unwell, your primary care vet could refer you to a veterinary specialist. There is 41 distinct specialties within veterinary medicine such as behavior, ophthalmology, surgery and dentistry. You might be referred to a veterinary specialist if diagnosing or treating your pet's health issue requires specialized equipment and/or expertise that your usual veterinarian does not have. Veterinary specialists take pride in working with your primary care veterinarian to provide your pet with the best possible care.

Our professional veterinarians at Animal General in Edgewater are driven and dedicated to providing you and your beloved pet the highest quality of veterinary care. Contact our office today to get more information about our team's certifications, qualifications and the services we offer.