You love your pet and want to ensure that the veterinarian you choose to take care of them has the right qualifications to do so. But what qualifications should you be looking out for? Our South Lebanon vets explain.
Choosing the Right Vet
Selecting the right vet for your pet can be stressful. There are so many things to consider. Will you like them? Are the hospital hours lined up with your availability? But even beyond these important concerns, there are a range of certifications an individual veterinarian can hold. But what do these certifications mean? Here are a few of the most common.
Mandatory U.S. Veterinary Qualifications
When looking for a vert, check to make sure that the veterinarian you're considering is actually licensed to practice in your state, and the United States. You may also want to ask about whether others at the clinic are licensed too, such as registered vet technicians. Visit your prospective vet's office and take a look around. If your don't see their certifications hanging in the reception area, just as them to see their licenses or to contact your state's board of veterinary medicine for more information.
Here are the two certifications you are looking for:
DVM (VMD) - Doctor of Veterinary Medicine - The first thing that you need to check is that your vet is 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 vets practicing in the U.S. must have a DVM degree. A DVM degree means that the person you are considering is, in fact, a qualified veterinarian and is fully qualified to perform the duties of the profession.
State Veterinary Licensing - In order to practice veterinary medicine in some states, a vet may be required to pass a state-specific certification exam. These exams will often test a vet's knowledge of their state's regulations and laws governing the practice of veterinary medicine. In order to maintain a state license, vets need to obtain continuing education and may need to renew their licenses on a regular basis—generally every 3 years.
Additional Veterinary Qualifications
If your pet has health care requirements above and beyond standard veterinary care, you may want to look for a vet with qualifications that go beyond the standard DVM degree. Two such certifications are:
Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (DABVP) - Vets who are AVBP certified start with achieving a DVM degree and then moving on to accrue knowledge and expertise beyond what is required when practicing standard veterinary medicine. ABVP diplomates undergo a 3-year-long process of additional exams and certifications to become board-certified specialists as recognized by the AVMA—American Veterinary Medical Association. These vets have put in hard work and training in order to specialize in treating one or more recognized categories of animals.
Fear Free Certification - If you have a pet that is high-strung or anxious you may want to take the extra time 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.