Pets Are Important Too

5 Online Features To Look For In Your Animal Hospital

by Aurore Fontai

If you are looking for a new veterinary practice for your pet's regular check ups or are trying to find an emergency pet clinic to have on call in case of an emergency, there are several features that you should look for. For example, it is important to find a veterinarian whom you trust and works well with your pets but is also located reasonably close to your home. Among all of the services that you should look for, you should also consider the online services that your potential animal hospital offers.

If you have constant access to the internet through your smartphone or at home, it may be easier to handle many of your veterinary issues online. Below are five services you should ask potential animal hospitals if they offer. 

Online Appointment Booking 

Online appointment booking can vary from simply allowing you to request an appointment via email and sending you a return email once your appointment has been made, to instant booking through a special program that allows you to see all appointment slots that are currently available. Some booking systems will allow you to book appointments with a certain veterinarian while others will only allow you to book a time. Additionally, some systems will allow you to write more information about your appointment while others only accept your contact information. 

Before committing to a veterinarian or animal hospital, you should try to use their online booking service. You should make sure that it is easy to use and that you get a confirmation of your appointment soon after you book it. 

Updated Schedules For Each Veterinarian

It is common for pet owners to want their pets to be seen by the same veterinarian every time they take them in for an appointment. However, many animal hospitals do not schedule pets to see specific veterinarians. If there is more than one veterinarian working at the hospital, you should make sure that there is an online schedule that lets you know the hours each veterinarian is scheduled to work. This way, you are more likely to schedule your appointment when your preferred veterinarian is working. 

An Easy Way to Download Forms, Information, and Checklists 

Downloading forms and filling them out before you arrive at the animal hospital can save you time in the waiting room. Downloading information and checklists helps ensure that you are educated about the best way to care for your pet, especially after common veterinarian procedures. You should look for a download area on your animal hospital's website. Alternatively, you should ask if documents and forms can be emailed to you when you make an appointment. 

Chat Assistance 

In case of emergency, you should call your veterinarian's emergency number or take your pet to the nearest animal hospital. However, sometimes your pet is not ill enough to warrant emergency care but you are still concerned about their condition. Many offices offer online chat systems that allow you to chat with a vet assistant that can inform you of whether you should bring your pet in for an immediate examination or schedule an appointment for your pet. They can also give you advice on how to transport and care for an injured pet. 

A Mobile App 

If you will frequently make appointments with your smartphone, it may be easiest to work with an animal hospital that offers a mobile app or a mobile-friendly website. This will ensure that you can access all of the necessary features without being in front of your computer. 

Not every animal hospital offers all of these online features. If you are interested in an animal hospital that does not, you should ask them when they plan to add these features to their services so they are aware that their clients desire them.