How Do I Find a Good Veterinarian?

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The goal is to choose a vet you’re comfortable with. (By: picturesbyann)

Before you even bring your new dog home, take them to the veterinarian you have already selected. Annual shots and examinations are a must for keeping your dog healthy.

If you cannot afford veterinary care for a dog, don’t get one. Preventive and consistent care is less expensive in the long run.

Choosing a Vet

Choose a vet whom you are comfortable with and who will answer your questions.

Check out the office:

  • Do animals seem just frightened, or are they also out of control?
  • Is it bedlam, or reasonable for the number of different animals there?
  • Do you have local recommendations from friends?
  • Does the vet specialize in small animals as opposed to, say, livestock?

Try to get word-of-mouth recommendations. Asking other clients isn’t always effective because they may not have had any unusual or challenging health problems with their pets, and vets that can be OK for routine stuff often are less impressive with unusual stuff.

Call vets in your area and ask the vet techs, not the vets themselves, whom they would recommend other than their own current employer. Another good source is groomers, because they tend to hear a lot of stories from their clients.

If you find the recommended vet is very expensive, she probably owns the practice. Try one of the associates. They tend not to run up the bills so much, and a good vet will usually hire good associates as well.

Look for a vet who is willing to refer you elsewhere if they don’t know the answers rather than saying something like “It must be an allergy,” etc.

Check that the vet is licensed by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). They do extensive and picky inspections of the facilities.

24-Hour Emergency Care

A good vet will either be associated with a 24-hour emergency care plan or be able to give you the number of a good place in your area.

Keep this number on your refrigerator, and check with your vet when you visit that it’s still up-to-date.

Fecal Samples

Any time you bring your dog to the vet, try to bring in a fresh fecal sample. Put a small, fingernail-sized sample into a plastic bag, or ask your vet for a supply of fecal samplers.

The vet cannot always get a fecal sample from the dog, and this saves you extra trips to return the sample and then bring the dog in if the tests are positive.

Collecting the sample:

  • Try an ordinary sandwich bag and turn it inside out over your hand like a rubber glove.
  • Then simply pick up the stool with your covered hand, turn the bag right-side out, enclosing the sample.
  • Zip shut, or use a twist tie.

This is perfectly sanitary (and you can use the same procedure to clean up after your dog on walks).

5 thoughts on “How Do I Find a Good Veterinarian?”

  1. I like that this mentioned to check out the office and see if they animals were afraid or out of control. I have a bird, and they are very prone to die from fright or stress. It’s very important to me that my bird feels safe, so she can get the best care provided. Thanks for sharing these great tips on how to choose a vet!

  2. I think that it is really helpful to have the insight to look for a veterinarian with 24-hour emergency care. This would make sure that you are getting help whenever you may need it for your pet. My fiance and I will look for this vet for our newly adopted puppy.

  3. I like that you suggested choosing a vet that will make you feel comfortable and won’t have the problems all the questions that you may have. My husband and I are interested in finding a veterinarian that can check our dog that looks so lethargic the whole day. I want to understand our dog’s health condition, so it’s important for me to find a veterinarian that’s willing to explain all the information that I need to know in taking care of our dog.

  4. My partner and I have decided to adopt a puppy after some (read: a lot) of persuasion, begging, and threatening from our kids. Like any responsible parents, it’s only sensible to get a doctor for the new member of our family. I agree that it’s important to seek a veterinarian/veterinarian services that offer an array of services for your pet so you wouldn’t have to jump to different clinics. I reckon that it’s also important to consider the proximity of the clinic to your house just in case an emergency situation arises that requires immediate care for your pet.

  5. I agree, if you’re choosing a veterinarian then you need to consider 24-hour emergency care. After all, you can never tell when your pet is going to have a medical emergency. Because of this, you will need to make sure that you can get them to the vet whenever they get sick.


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