A Happy Dog


 Your Dog And And Her Vet
Your Vet May Not Be The Best Fit For Your Dog



Almost all of us have at one time or another had a physician that for whatever reason we just didn’t like.  The same could be true for your dog but of course,  she can’t tell you.  We can’t take for granted that all veterinarians are the same in their training,  attitude,  continued education and advice.

You’ll want to find out if the veterinarian has any reviews on yelp and if they’re good or bad and how many.  Is the vet younger or older because that could be a factor in how much time and care your dog will get from him/her.

The first thing that you’ll want to do before researching and visiting a vet is to make a list of important questions that will be needed to be asked.  That way after getting home you won’t be saying  “Oh,  I should have asked”  like many of us have done.

Some Things To Consider

For example, my last dog as she got older would have her legs go out sometimes.  It may have been more helpful for her if I could have found a veterinarian specializing in geriatric care.  If you have a puppy you would hopefully want a vet that would be there for both of you as your dog grows up.

A Checklist To Start With

  • Does the veterinarian have the knowledge and the support of select holistic/alternative treatments
  • Is the veterinarian’s facility up to date with cutting edge medical technologies and care
  • Do the appointments give you enough time to ask lots of questions and convey your concerns
  • Does the veterinarian give support to rescue organizations and contribute to the local animal welfare community
  • Is it a smaller facility.   Many pet owners prefer to see the same vet because they are familiar with the history and needs of your animal
  • Is it a large facility.   Other pet owners may want a larger facility with a larger staff for greater care and more flexibility in scheduling
  • Are the available hours suitable for your work schedule
  • Is it close to home
  • How do the veterinarians’ prices compare to other vets in the area

The Next Steps

You now know what you want from a vet so it’s time to go find a few to choose from.  Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to start with.  You probably know other dog people that have the same or similar priorities as you and you’ll want their recommendations.

But if you’re in a new place where you don’t know that many people,  you can look at reviews on sites like Yelp or Angie’s List,  where you can learn about other people’s experiences with vets in the area.  Then you could select a few that meet your needs.

You’ll also want to find out if the veterinarian is accredited with the American Animal Hospital Association.  The AAHA evaluates veterinary practices on standards for patient care and pain management,  surgery,  facilities,  medical records,  cleanliness,  emergency services,  dental care,  diagnostic imaging,  anesthesiology,  and continuing education.   Vet hospitals are not required by law to be accredited,  but accreditation shows a commitment to maintaining high standards of care and services.

Time To Take A Look At The Facilities

When you have found one or two potential vets,  you can plan a visit without your dog to get a feel for the place itself.  A reputable veterinary practice will be more than happy to show you around and make sure you feel welcome.

Some Things To Look For

  • Is it easy to get to from your home
  • How easy is the parking
  • Is the facility clean
  • Look at the looby/waiting area and exam rooms
  • Ask to see the area behind the scenes
  • Are there separate waiting areas for dogs and cats
  • Do the animals and people look comfortable being there
  • Is the staff caring,  calm,  courteous, and helpful
  • Try to meet at least one of the vets

When You Have Found The Right Vet

Always be prepared when you go and see a vet.  Be ready to tell the vet of any concerns you have about your dog and bring a to ask list.  Remember,  by getting the right vet for your dog,  his life could be much more comfortable espeially in his later years and maybe even his life expectancy could be increased.


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