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.