Well, you did it. After deciding that the family was indeed ready for an animal, you are now a proud pet parent. Among your first responsibilities? Finding your new addition a doctor. When looking for a vet take time to visit the clinic to meet the staff and have a look around the facilities. Here are just a few things to think about during your visit. 1. The actual clinic. First, is it easy for you to get to, or will you be lugging a kitty carrier on two buses, then walking six blocks uphill – both ways? During your tour make note if the facilities are clean, well organized and welcoming. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Yep, I feel at home here (photo: Wikipedia)."][/caption] 2. The vet and his or her staff. When choosing a vet, you’re not only choosing a doctor for your pet, but you’re also entering into a relationship with the receptionist, technicians and other support staff. Ask for a quick introduction with everyone to make sure you feel comfortable with the arrangement. If you’re checking out a multi-doctor clinic, ask if you can request for your pet to see a specific vet each visit. (You never know who Rover will take a liking to!) 3. The services. Do you want a one-stop hospital, or are you willing to go somewhere else if your pet needs to see a specialist? If you’re looking for the former, ask about the vet’s board certification (has he studied and passed an exam in a specialty area?). Will you pet be able to get an X-ray on site, or will you be referred to a partner clinic elsewhere? And what about surgical procedures? 4. The hours. Appointments during regular business hours for you may not be an option. Check the clinic’s hours against your own: maybe they’re open every other Saturday or stay open late on Friday nights. You’ll also want to know ahead of time how emergencies are handled after hours and on holidays. 5. The extra mile. Will the vet take your phone call if you have a quick question? If you ask to be fit in to the schedule should there be a cancellation, will the clinic squeeze you in? Is you pet comfy with his vet? What was most important to you when choosing a vet?