What to Look for in a Veterinarian?

  • By Cassandra Gillespie
  • 08 Dec, 2017

Looking for a veterinarian in Lee's Summit?

You know how the saying goes, “If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your dog.” The same concept applies when looking for the right veterinarian. If there is something you like about them, it’s worth it to go a few miles extra for more suitable care. We have instincts like our pets do, so if your instinct or intuition tells you that this doctor isn’t for you, then maybe they aren’t.

Often times, depending on where you live, there may only be a few options for veterinarians in your area. While options are limited, it may be a good thing if half of the pet-owners that you know have been to that veterinarian a time or two.

Do some investigation, check for good reviews, and ask others in the area where they go for veterinary services! 

Sometimes, having a convenient place that works best with your schedule is at the top of the list.

Is the vet open on the weekends or late during the week?
Do they have specific drop-off or pick-up times?
Are they appointment or walk-in only? Both?
Do they have emergency services available?
Are there discounts available for multi-pet households?
What time does the vet open?

Pets are family. Annual check-ups are recommended, vaccines and rabies shots are required in most places, and it is especially important to find a solution if your pet is having problems. Finding a veterinarian that doesn’t require appointments and is open late to make picking up and dropping off after work easy, maybe the right place for you.

There are things that one can look for during the first visit that could make or break whether this veterinarian is “the one.”

It’s all about the vibe.

Walking into Chipman Road Animal Clinic , a few things will catch your eye. The huge covered front porch outside the front door makes you instantly feel at home, like you’re walking in the front door of your own home. Once you step inside, a sign reads, “Cat Waiting ->” which makes you giggle as you head to front desk with Fido to check in. Leather couches with cute paw print pillows line the outside walls as four legged quests wait patiently with their masters. While you’re waiting, you can look out the large windows, peak at the food and medicine selection on the nearby shelves, or check-in on Facebook and see what everyone is saying about the vet.

It is important during your first visit to self-evaluate the staff, as they will be handling your pets as much, if not more than the veterinarians themselves. Are the technicians and other support staff professional and kind? Are they nice to the pets and to each other? Do they seem to enjoy their job? These are simple questions that can usually be felt out as soon as you walk in the door.

Emergency service is always something to consider . If you’ve just gotten a new kitten or puppy, it is important to know what services are offered when choosing an animal clinic. After the shots and spaying/neutering is done, other things may come up that require emergency vet services. If your primary veterinarian does not have a doctor on-site 24 hours a day or offer emergency services, make sure you know who they would recommend during emergencies.

Chipman Road Animal Clinic is a walk-in only clinic, with the exception of scheduled surgeries, and they recommend Blue Pearl to those in need of emergency services. Because of this, the veterinarians can accept all walk-ins at any time, while still keeping the wait time down. They are open until 7PM on weekdays and from 8-12PM on Saturdays. Their hours make it easy for anyone to see a veterinarian on the day they need it, and makes picking up and dropping off your furry friends easy and stress-free.

A less-common, but just-as-important question to ask is, what the specialties of each veterinarian at the animal clinic are and if they care for other animals than just cats and dogs. Each veterinarian has a story, a reason that they began doing what they love.

Most veterinarians offer vaccinations , medicine, diagnostics , and lab work, but it may not be common knowledge that they specialize in dentistry or orthopedics. Research the specific services that are offered at the vet if your pet has specific needs.

Is there an in-house pharmacy?
Is pet dentistry offered?
Is lab work done in-house or sent somewhere?
Do they offer pain management?
Do they give wellness exams ?

Today, most veterinarians have microchip readers and the technology to give your dog or cat one, but it is still important to ask in case you ever find yourself screaming, “Help! I lost my dog!” or even the opposite, “Help! I found a dog!”


Microchipping has made pet identification possible and has given some pets ‘a voice’ when they thought they’d never be found again. Chipman Road Animal Clinic believes in microchipping and they have the technology to scan a current microchip and add your pet to the national database that will forever have the information necessary to find your beloved friend if ever lost.

Payment Options

A trip to the veterinarian isn’t always cheap. A survey done by LendEDU found that Americans spend a collective $44 billion each year on their pets! This is proof that pets are members of the family and NEED to be cared for. Popular insurance options for pets can be found at www.petinsurance.com or www.petcareinsurance.com because owning a pet means assuming the responsibility of a parent. If your cat or dog is sick and needs help, don’t let finances get in the way.  

As written on the cute paw print pillows in the lobby of Chipman Road Animal Clinic, “LOVE is a FOUR LEGGED WORD.”

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