How to Break Up With Your Veterinarian

Man at veterinary clinic with his dog
Though you don't owe your veterinary clinic an explanation if you leave, it is courteous to talk to the veterinarian or practice manager if you were unsatisfied with the service or level of care.

Breaking up is never easy. Breaking up with your veterinarian can be even more complicated because your pet still needs medical care from someone you trust. But if you've reached the point where your relationship with your vet just isn't working, it's time to move on.

Pet owners decide to change veterinarians for a variety of reasons. Maybe you’re moving to a new area, maybe your pet needs specialized care, or maybe you've had a difference of opinion with your current vet about how your pet should be cared for. Whatever the reason, there are some simple ways to end your relationship gracefully and professionally, without burning bridges or breaking hearts.

When Things Go Wrong

Possibly the most difficult breakup scenario is the one in which you're changing veterinarians because you’re dissatisfied with the standard of care or the service you've received, either from the veterinarian or the clinic's staff. In this situation, it's important to remember that you have every right to change veterinarians. It’s also important to keep in mind that it is possible to part ways with sincerity and good manners, even after a serious disagreement.

When you decide to change vets, you don’t owe the veterinary hospital an explanation — but if you are leaving because you are unhappy with the care or service, it would be courteous and helpful to the practice to talk to the veterinarian or practice manager or to send a letter or email explaining your move. Be straightforward but polite. If you are angry about a specific incident or issue, keep your temper under control and don't say — or write — anything you might regret later. If you choose to talk to your vet in the clinic, don’t make a spectacle for other pet owners to witness.

And though you might be upset with a particular veterinarian or team member, it’s likely that other members of the clinic staff have been helpful. Don’t take your anger out on them.


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