Who Should Be Your Go-to Expert for Geriatric Pet Care? Tips for Choosing the Right Vet

Who Should Be Your Go-to Expert for Geriatric Pet Care? Tips for Choosing the Right Vet

As our furry friends reach their golden years, ensuring they receive proper geriatric pet care becomes increasingly important. Choosing the right veterinarian for your senior pet is crucial in maintaining their health and quality of life. This article will guide you through finding the ideal vet for your aging companion.

1. Ask for Recommendations

One of the simplest and most effective ways to find the right veterinarian is to seek recommendations from trusted sources. Talk to friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors with senior pets. Additionally, consult rescue organizations and animal shelters as they often work directly with veterinarians and can provide valuable insights.

2. Look for a Veterinarian with AAHA Accreditation

When choosing a veterinarian for your geriatric pet, prioritize those with American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) accreditation. This accreditation signifies adherence to strict guidelines and standards for patient care, which ensures that your pet will receive high-quality service and medical attention. Although not all competent veterinarians are AAHA accredited, it can serve as an additional layer of confidence when making your decision.

3. Find a Vet Who Specializes in Geriatric Pet Care

Veterinarians specializing in geriatric medicine – focused on the unique needs of senior pets – can offer valuable expertise for your aging companions. Look for vets with the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) certification, which indicates they have completed additional training in their areas of specialization.

Wellness Exams

Scheduling regular pet wellness exam clinic visits can be instrumental in ensuring the overall health and addressing potential health concerns early on. Maintaining a consistent schedule of wellness exams for your senior pets is crucial to proactively monitor their health and implement any necessary adjustments to their care.

4. Tour the Practice

Before committing to a veterinarian, one must visit the clinic or hospital where they practice to evaluate the facility. Factors to consider during your tour include:

  • Cleanliness
  • Patient safety
  • Well-organized treatment room
  • Separates for dogs and cats to minimize stress

Additionally, assess if the practice has overnight monitoring capabilities and inquire about their diagnostic testing services, such as the availability of an on-site vet lab for pets. A well-equipped laboratory can be beneficial in providing accurate and timely results for various tests, aiding in managing your senior pet’s health.

5. Evaluate the Staff and Registered Veterinary Technicians

Assessing the staff working at the clinic is equally essential, as they will play a significant role in your pet’s care. Look for friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable employees. Registered Veterinary Technicians are particularly vital as they have undergone formal education and received licensure, ensuring they can provide high care for your pet.

Geriatric Care

Veterinarians specializing in senior dogs and cat vet care demonstrate expertise in caring for older pets, including managing age-related health concerns. This specialization can significantly affect the quality of care your geriatric pet receives, as it factors into their unique needs.

6. Meet the Veterinarian Before You Need Them

Once you have narrowed your choices, schedule a “meet and greet” session with the veterinarian, your pet, and yourself. Use this opportunity to evaluate the veterinarian’s demeanor, communication skills, and interaction with your pet. Finding a vet with whom you and your senior companion feel comfortable is crucial. During the meeting, inquire about their policies on annual vaccines, spaying and neutering, euthanasia, nutrition, and cancer treatment. Gauge their willingness to listen to your input and assess whether their philosophy of care aligns with yours.

7. Creating a Pet Healthcare Partnership

Choosing the right veterinarian for your geriatric pet necessitates forging a partnership with a qualified professional who shares your approach to pet care. This collaboration will pave the way for meaningful dialogues and decision-making processes, benefiting your pet’s health and quality of life.

8. Evaluating Pet Insurance and Payment Plans

Inquiring about pet insurance acceptance and alternative payment options, such as Care Credit or payment plans, can be crucial in choosing a veterinarian. Preparing for potential future expenses will help ensure your senior pet receives the care they need without putting undue financial stress on your family. 


Choosing the right veterinarian for your geriatric pet is a critical decision that has long-lasting implications for their well-being. By considering factors such as AAHA accreditation, specialized expertise in geriatric care, and effective communication with both pets and their human caregivers, you ensure the best possible care for your beloved senior pet.

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