Tips for Choosing a Veterinarian for Your Puppy

Use Your Head and Your Heart When Choosing A Veterinarian For Your Puppy!Choosing a veterinarian for your puppy

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!

To Your Dog’s Good Health!Chloe at 17

Cheryl Major






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About Cheryl Major

Cheryl Major has been a volunteer at The Buddy Dog Humane Society in Massachusetts for 14 years, and has been on their Board of Trustees since 2008. Her blog,, is a labor of love. She has also been involved in passing animal protection legislation at the city and state levels and was a regular guest on New England Cable News (NECN) for their "Adopt a Pet Segment". This blog is dedicated to the joys and challenges of dogs of all shapes, sizes and ages with whom we share our lives.


Tips for Choosing a Veterinarian for Your Puppy — 3 Comments

  1. Finding the right veterinarian is super important. I like how you said to interview the vet before taking your puppy in, great advice. When you take your puppy into the vet, it is important to feel secure and confident.

  2. Thank you for talking about talking to several vets before choosing one. It makes sense that doing this can help you review your options and find someone you can get along with. I would want to hire someone I can trust and has experience treating pets like mine.

  3. My wife and I have been thinking about finding a new person to take care of our pets, but we weren’t sure how to find the right one. I really like that you say to make sure that you tour their facility. It would be nice to know that you won’t have to worry about not being comfortable there.

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