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Policies & Helpful Information

We’re so honored that you have chosen us to care for your pet! Please read the information on this page & as always, please let us know if you have any questions. We will be glad to help.

Also, if you want to review our Missed Appointment, Financial & Zero Tolerance policies, please click HERE

AAHA Certified

Only 15% of all veterinary clinics in the U.S. and Canada are approved by the American Animal Hospital Association, and we are proud to say that we are one of them! Since 2012, we have demonstrated rigorous standards of care in all aspects of veterinary medicine. For information on AAHA, please see https://www.aaha.org/aaha-accreditation/what-is-accreditation.

Hours

Monday, Wednesday, & Friday: 7:00am – 5:00pm
Tuesday & Thursday: 7:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday: 8:00am – 12:00pm (noon)On weekdays a doctor is not available until 8:00 am.

Email & Contact Information

Please share your email address with us so that we can not only send you reminders and the occasional offer or imminent notice but also so our doctors can communicate with you more easily. We will not sell your contact information to 3rd parties, nor will we bombard you with frequent correspondence. If any of your contact information changes, please let us know as soon as possible. If you can receive texts, we are also happy to communicate via text.

Social Media & Forms

Here on our website, you can access a variety of helpful pet care information as well as forms and online store. We are also active on Facebook. Please fill out new patient and anesthesia forms at least 72 hours prior to your visit. We appreciate your cooperation!

Referrals

We greatly appreciate your referrals! As a thank you to our loyal clients, we have a referral rewards program so that with every referral you make, you earn a $20 credit that can be used for services or merchandise. Please make sure that whomever you refer mentions your name when they come in.

Feedback

We appreciate your feedback, and we welcome any comments or suggestions you may have. We hope that you were satisfied with your visit, and if you were, we would greatly appreciate a positive review on Facebook or Google! If you have a concern, however, we want to address it. You may contact us directly by phone at (618) 222-9860 or email at info@bestfriendsahpr.com, or via the contact form on our website.

Reminders

When your pet is due for wellness care, we will email and/or text you reminders. If you do not authorize reminders, or if you only allow email communication, please let us know.

Appointments

Patients are seen by appointment. To make an appointment please call us at (618) 222-9860 or you may request one via our website (please remember this is a request). We will send confirmation to your email address or mobile phone and we will call you 1-2 days before to remind you of the appointment. For wellness care, we recommend making your appointment as soon as possible as, sometimes, we are scheduling several weeks out. For new clients, we do require a deposit equal to an exam fee when scheduling your pet’s first visit and will ask you to fill out a new patient form online. If your pet has a medical history, we request a copy of it prior to the appointment to allow the doctor time to review it.

When You Arrive & Safety

Please arrive 10 minutes prior to your appointment and check in at the front desk. If you prefer curbside care or to wait in your car until an exam room is available for you please just call when you arrive. For your pet’s protection, and that of others, dogs must be on a leash (non-retractable is preferred) and under your control, while cats will need to be in a carrier. If your pet is coughing, or your puppy has diarrhea, please let us know before your arrival so that we can minimize the spread of potentially infectious diseases.
If you need help carrying a pet into the hospital, please let us know so we can assist you. If your pet has a history of biting or aggressive behavior, please let us know ahead of time. We want your pet to experience as little stress as possible while ensuring everyone’s safety. In some instances, we may prescribe medication to minimize your pet’s anxiety. For particularly fearful or aggressive pets, a muzzle may be needed. This is not a demarcation of your pet or an insult to an owner! For your and your child’s safety, please refrain from approaching any pet without first getting the owner’s consent.

Drop-Offs or Day Admissions

If your pet is an established patient and we are unable to schedule an acceptable appointment time, we may be able to offer a “drop-off” or day admission where your pet comes to us in the morning and stays for several hours allowing the doctor to evaluate your pet during that time. We do have a form on our website that should be filled out ahead of time, or upon your pet’s admission. There is a nominal fee for this service since our team will need to tend to the pets in our care and sanitize after their stay.
If you need to pick your pet up at a certain time, please let our team know when you schedule the appointment. We make every effort to examine your pet as soon as possible but must also triage on days when we have unexpected emergencies. When the doctor has examined your pet, he/she will call to discuss findings and recommendations. Please make every effort to be available at the phone number you’ve provided. All pets will need to be picked up before closing the same day unless other arrangements have been made.

Technician Appointments

In some instances, your pet may not need to be seen by a veterinarian and a technician appointment can be made, instead. Minor procedures such as nail trims, anal gland expression, and routine ear cleaning can be taken care of by one of our wonderful veterinary technicians. Although rabies vaccines cannot be given by a technician and therefore always require a doctor to examine your pet, certain other vaccines can. In some instances, technicians can also administer Cytopoint and Proheart injections, and draw blood for lab work. At a minimum, pets need to be current on their rabies vaccination for this type of appointment.

Surgeries

If your pet needs surgery, dentistry, or sedation, we do require a $100 deposit at the time of scheduling.

In some instances, we will need to make an appointment for a presurgical visit with a technician or doctor. At the presurgical visit, we can ensure all questions are answered, estimates reviewed, paperwork filled out, and in most instances, acquire an EKG. If lab work is needed, this allows us to collect this as well. If there are any abnormalities associated with any tests, the doctor can then review these with you to determine if the procedure is safe to move forward with. You can fill out an Anesthesia Consent Form online or we can assist with this at the presurgical visit. For elective procedures, your pet must be current on immunizations including rabies and distemper. Because anesthesia carries with it a certain degree of risk depending on your pet’s current health status and the procedure being done, we do require that patients over 6 years of age have bloodwork done within 3 months before anesthesia. Please see our website for more information on surgeries, how to prepare, and how to minimize your pet’s anxiety.

Emergencies

Emergencies will be seen immediately, regardless of the schedule. Please know that we make a sincere attempt to see all appointments on time but, unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances such as emergencies do arise on occasion. We appreciate your patience in these instances, but if you need to reschedule, we understand.

If your pet has a medical emergency requiring immediate care during office hours, please call us so that we may better understand your pet’s situation. If we are closed, please call the Animal Emergency Clinic in Collinsville (618-346-1843) or Hawthorne Animal Hospital in Glen Carbon (618-288-3971).

Discrimination & Accessibility

We are committed to no discrimination of any kind. People with disabilities will find our facility to be wheelchair accessible. If you require accessibility assistance please let us know. Although we try to minimize any risks and take customary precautionary measures to minimize any injuries, we ask everyone to use caution in inclement weather and around pets as they are in a strange environment.

Insurance

We strongly encourage pet insurance, especially if you can sign up when your pet is young. We recommend that you consider multiple providers to determine which policy best suits you and your pet’s individual needs. A couple that you may want to consider include: Embrace or Trupanion. More can be found on our website under Payment Information or visit www.Pawlicy.com.

Prescriptions, Refills & Returns

In order to authorize ANY medications for your pet, the pet needs to be a current patient, which means that one of our doctors has examined him/her within the past year. Refills on some medications may require regular testing to ensure the medication is not having unwanted side effects on the pet. Heartworm medication requires a valid prescription and per the American Heartworm Society, we recommend testing annually. In some instances, you may be able to sign a waiver. We try to keep our pricing on such products as competitive as possible. If you prefer home delivery, we have an online store on our website through which you can obtain almost any product at competitive prices. Single doses of flea/tick & heartworm products can even be shipped as needed!

Should you choose to utilize a 3rd party, know that according to manufacturers of heartworm preventatives, they WILL NOT guarantee their product UNLESS it is purchased directly from the pet’s veterinarian or that veterinarian’s online store.

 

Need a refill? Call, email, or text us! Due to recent protocol changes, there may be instances where we do not have a pharmacy technician readily available to fill prescriptions, including preventatives, without prior notification. Please allow three business days for products we carry in-house and one week for special orders. Please call to see if we can accommodate the request if medication is urgently needed.

 

Most prescription products cannot be returned once they’ve left our possession. If you wish to return a retail item, the packaging must be intact and the return requested within 30 days of purchase. Returns will be in the form of credit on your account. If your pet does not like the food you’ve purchased from us, please return any uneaten product within 30 days and we will gladly place a credit on your account. Since we only carry prescription products and your veterinarian recommended that particular diet, it will be important to consult the doctor for an alternative food.

Euthanasia

Humane euthanasia certainly has its place in appropriate situations to prevent unnecessary suffering when a pet is terminally ill or injured. However, it is not the answer in all situations. Euthanasia will not be provided when an animal is minimally ill or injured and no reasonable attempt at diagnosis and/or treatment has been made, if the pet is unwanted, for the convenience of the owner, or if the pet has unfounded behavior problems. In these instances, we are always able to provide references for behavioral help (if a specialist or trainer is warranted) or re-homing options, or in certain limited circumstances have the pet surrendered over to our care. If you feel euthanasia is warranted and we have not seen your pet within the year, we require a consult with a veterinarian to determine its suitability.

Medical Records

If you are interested in having a second opinion on your pet’s condition, or you will be going to a specialist or emergency facility, we can transfer your pet’s records electronically to a 3rd party, or directly to you, depending on your preference. If you move or elect to seek care for your pet elsewhere, we can provide an electronic copy to you via email. Should you need a printed copy of your pet’s medical record, a charge may apply. We will not release a copy of your pet’s entire medical record to an individual that is not on your account.  We can email a copy to you directly. At times, a 3rd party, typically a boarding or daycare facility, will call to verify vaccine status if your pet has a reservation. Please let us know if you do not authorize us to give vaccine status information to these facilities.