I've often been asked, "How do I choose a good therapist for my pet?"
Nobody wants to put their four-
There are too many hair-
I'm sad to say I still find myself following highly qualified therapists round the country mending what they have failed to fix.
One immediate guideline is: don’t choose in a hurry!
If your pet’s problem is urgent, you should probably go straight to the vet. If it is a repeating problem, or one that has hung around too long despite everything the vet as tried, then that is a different issue. Or if it is a less serious problem and does not necessarily need a vet, then take your time.
It’s not easy to give you a guaranteed fool-
Although this immediately means they are going to charge for their services, it also means that they are fully committed to the job, willing to be known for their work, and taking their reputation seriously. It should also mean that they are fully qualified, registered and able to help you claim insurance. They should be insured, follow a professional code of conduct and continue to keep up with advances in research and policy, etc.
When you see their advert, website or office, does it look properly kept, appropriate
for the work they do, and well-
As an animal owner, you will usually be able to tell quickly how experienced a therapist
is with animals. If you see a therapist making basic mistakes in approaching your
pet, take it as a warning sign. This therapist may tell you he is a student or newly
qualified. Ask who his supervisor is -
There is a very good warning in the professional world, “If all you have is a hammer, then all problems look like nails”. You need a therapist who can understand what has gone wrong and can choose the best method of dealing with it, and then tell you why.
Some professions (including orthodox ones) are tending to make rules for the therapist
to follow without thinking – to save time, perhaps. But this cuts out professional
judgement, which leads to a lack of creativity and willingness to try other methods
if the first one doesn’t work. Or if it doesn’t work well-
This is difficult to judge before your first meeting. But asking other pet owners will tell you about the therapist’s reputation and you will find two things:
1. Different people will always give slightly different answers, because they are different people.
2. Opinions will fall into three types: ‘Great!’, ‘Awful!’ And ‘Not Sure’. The first two are easy to make use of, if you find several people all saying pretty much the same. The third one is more difficult, especially if your pet is in pain, or at risk of life or limb. In this case, the best advice is ‘play safe’ – go to a vet if you haven’t already.
Your pet can’t decide – you have to, by law. But they can tell you what they think: watch how they react to the therapist. If you know your pet well, you should be able to understand if he does or doesn’t like him or her. If you don’t know your pet well, it’s a bit more difficult, as animals do remember previous bad experiences that might have nothing to do with the present therapist or their office.
One interesting point that can help is that some therapists treat humans as well as animals. So remember to ask neighbours and animal club people about this too.
Another useful thing to say is: if you start to feel bad about the therapist or the