It’s that time of year where everyone makes resolutions to do something better or differently over the next year.  Maybe it’s to quit smoking, to lose weight, to play with your dog more, or a resolve to not break your resolutions.


But there’s one thing I want to ask all the dedicated pet owners out there – resolve to be more transparent with your veterinarian.


We have a few of philosophies in veterinary medicine; pet care is a team effort, we can only work with the information we are given, and you can’t save them all, to name a few.  And as much as we want to help all the pets we can or perform miracles on a weekly basis, we can’t.  But we do want to make sure are doing our best to continually improve ourselves to serve you better.


Here’s where you come in with that increased transparency.  Something that happens more often that we’d like to admit in veterinary medicine is pet owners not being forthright in their feelings.


No, I’m not talking about their fear to admit their dog ate marijuana or it ate their mistress’ underwear.  Actually, it’s more confounding when clients request to no longer see a specific doctor or just outright leave the clinic for another clinic.


Understandably, some times personalities just don’t mesh or there is a communication barrier.  It happens, and that’s cool.  What’s not kosher is when a colleague is left clueless as to how to improve.  Over 12 years, I’ve seen it happen multiple times. It’s happened to me and it’s happened to friends and co-workers.


We think the appointment went great, answered all your questions, came up with a plan to help your pet, and gave extra love ad treats to your pet but the next thing we see in the file is “does not want to see Dr. X” or “files transferred to Animal Hospital Around the Corner.”


So what did we do wrong?  We almost never find out.  Almost never = 99% of the time.  A lot of the time we chalk it up to personality differences and move on; there’s other patients that need our help.  But sometimes it does hurt.


What could we do better?  These are the things that we would like some transparency.  Yes, the truth might hurt us but it’s not fair to give us a false sense of doing a good job or maybe even a disservice to another client.


Yes, we love hearing the good reviews but sometimes we need to hear the not so good.  This doesn’t mean berating the vet or clinic in the waiting room or online social media but actual constructive criticism could be mutually beneficial for your vet, hospital, AND your pet.  Imagine how much better we could help you and your pet if we were on the same page in our communication.


So before you walk away from the last veterinarian you saw or the vet clinic you’ve chosen to be your other family doctor, take a moment to see if there’s a way we can find a middle ground to move forward in a positive