You love your puppy and want the best care. Of course that includes choosing a veterinarian for your puppy who is available in your area, but there’s more to the process of choosing as this relationship needs to be more than professional; it needs to be personal. How do you find a great vet, one that offers top medical care but also really cares about you and your pet? Let’s take a look at your options:
Get Several Recommendations
Ask Other Pet Owners – If you have friends with a dog, ask them first. One of the best ways for choosing a veterinarian is word of mouth. Ask them what vet they go to, and why. Ask around at the pet supply store. Pet lovers love to talk about their pets and their vets.
Check Media Resources – Look up local vets in the phone book, online, or in the local newspaper’s business section featuring pet care. Create a list of vets to check out. If the ad or article has testimonials, call the people if you can.
Interview the Veterinarian
Once you find a few veterinary clinics worth checking out, you’ll need to go prepared with some good questions. Write up a list to include the following:
- What are the hours of operation?
- Do you handle emergencies? If not, who do I call when I have an emergency?
- If my pet needs to stay overnight, how is this handled?
- What are the typical pet care costs, including vaccinations, medication, etc?
- How many veterinarians are on staff?
- If you’re not there, who will handle my appointment?
- What are the technicians allowed to do?
- Will I be able to get a message to you?
- How many years have you been in business?
- What other services do you provide? (laboratory, boarding, grooming, etc)?
- May I tour your facilities?
- Is there any pet insurance available or do you have partners to provide this?
- Do you offer micro-chipping?
- How many dogs and other pets do you have?
- Do you offer alternative therapies such as chiropractic and acupuncture?
Even after all getting answers to all these questions, a lot of the decision is going to come down to your gut feeling. Don’t dismiss this. It may be the way the questions are answered; it may be the attitude; it may be the time the vet is willing to take with you. You can often get a great sense from your own intuition on whether a place is right for your pet and you. Of course, you’ll need to be practical too, in terms of hours, location, the condition of the clinic, etc.
Once you decide on a veterinarian for your puppy, remember, there’s nothing that says you absolutely have to stay with them after you choose to make an initial appointment. Things may happen to change your mind, and frankly, your pet’s needs may change as he ages requiring you to find a different vet.
Go to your first appointment and watch what happens. How does the veterinarian treat your pet? How does your pet react to the vet? Is the staff friendly and caring? Did your puppy get the attention he or she deserves while being examined? Did YOU get the attention you deserved, as well? Overall, did you and your puppy have a positive experience in the veterinarian’s clinic?
Choosing a veterinarian for your puppy may take some time and research, but it’s well worth the effort. A great vet will get to know your puppy throughout the years and will become a trusted adviser. Take the time, and you’ll be glad to know your puppy is getting the best care possible in order to grow into a healthy, happy dog!